Friday, November 11, 2011


Today is 11-11-11 and while that may seem like a really neat day to you, it's a really special to me because it's my 11th wedding anniversary!!  Yes 11-11-11 is my 11th anniversary!!!  How cool is that??

This is my second installment of my trying to post every Friday!!  Hey, two in a row is good for me!!  We had a pretty quiet week but got a lot done.  We studied about the end of the Ice Age and how the people spread out after the climate changed.  We also finished our study on the arctic tundra in science and began studying the cactus desert.  We're moving on to studying Egypt, so the desert study will go great with that.  We made clay maps of the area where people first settled after the Flood, near the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and added water to the lakes and rivers and put ice cubes where the great wall of ice was.  It was pretty cool.  We finished our book "All of a Kind Family".  It was a cute story and really gave you a sense of what life was like for a Jewish family living in New York City in the early 1900's.  I wasn't always in agreement with the parenting that occurred in it, but I used that as a opportunity to talk to the kids about how they are supposed to act in different situations.  Overall it was a nice school week.

I tried a new recipe this week, Beef and Broccoli over rice.  Sort of what you might get at a chinese take out restaurant.  It needs some tweaking but it was pretty good.  We'll have it again.

We're 29 weeks pregnant today!  I got my results from my glucose test and I'm negative for Gestational Diabetes.  That's good!!  I'm also not anemic.  So those were nice to get.  We bought our little girl the cutest little sleeper last night.  It was from Target.  They're carrying a Disney line now and this one is themed Alice in Wonderland.  It's very cute.  Preparations for her arrival are going pretty well.  We got the bunk bed set up in Joshua's room, so Abby can sleep in there if she needs to, if the baby is waking up a lot.  She and Abby will be sharing a room (and Abby is SOOOO excited about it!!!).  We also got Noah a new desk from Ikea since we had to take his other one out to put up the bunk bed.  It's very nice, though my hands were sore from putting in all the screws!!!  We'll hopefully get the crib and set it up in the next few weeks, we already bought the bedding set.  It matches Abby's owl theme.  I'm hoping to get some freezer cooking done in the next few weeks, so we have some meals ready to go when she arrives. I also need to organize all of the kids clothes that I pulled out at the end of summer.  You know, the ones that no longer fit them.  I save about 75% of their clothes and keep them organized in bins in the basement.  I need to get that done again.  It's coming in handy, now that we have our "2nd generation" of kids coming along!

Well I"m off to wash the sheets today and do some quick cleaning before we go visit my parents.  Have a great week!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Remember Me?

Hello, anyone out there???

Well, I just thought I'd get around to posting today as I've wanted to for awhile now.  I like having this blog as a record of what we do as a family if nothing else.  I'd like to make Friday's a blogging day as our school work load is considerably shorter on Friday's (our main curriculum only goes 4 days a week).  So it's Friday and here I am.

We had a nice summer, spent a lot of time with extended family.  Always love that.  Had some fun with church family as well.  Abby was baptised in September, that was a big day for our family.  We also had a vacation to Florida.  We spent a few days at Vero Beach.  Joshua HATED the ocean.  He would scream at the top of his lungs if you let the water touch him!  He loved the pool though and didn't mind playing in the sand as long as it was a bit back from the water!  Noah and Abby loved it all.  I love watching them gain their independence in these situations.  They could've stayed at the beach for days!!

We also did a stop in Disney World.  Everyone had a great time.  Joshua and I took it at a slower pace, with rests at the hotel and a few half days.  Overall it was a nice family vacation, but I was ready to be home!!!

Now we've settled in to a nice routine with our schooling.  Our "core" curriculum is Preparing Hearts for Him by Heart of Dakota.  I love it.  I have tried so many different curriculums and thought I might have to just make up my own, but I'm so glad I've found this one.  I think the Lord sent it to me!!  Our schedule looks like this:

Bible Study/Memorization
Read Aloud (this doesn't go with our curriculum, I just pick a book I want to read)
Kid's Quiet Reading (a chapter in the book I chose for them)

Poetry (this year we're doing the poems of Robert Louis Stevenson, we read them, talk about them, etc.)
History Reading (a selection from a "living" book)
Storytime (another selection that expounds on the theme we're currently studying in history, sometimes from the Bible)
History Study (currently we're going through a Draw and Write book where the kids learn to draw something from the history lesson, like wooly mammoths, or they copy in cursive paragraphs from the book, but after this book it's more of independent reading through chapter books.  Noah also has another book that he reads as well, as he's older and needs more in depth information)
History Project (every week, we work on a small project that goes along with the theme, so far we've made shields with a coat of arms, painted a rainbow while going over warm and cool colors and made cave drawings of bulls and mammoths)
History Activity (this rotates daily between research (researching something to do with the weekly topic, i.e. coats of arms), vocabulary work, geography (using maps, globes and atlases to learn or review geography) and timeline (adding to a timeline we're making on the back of our pantry door!).
Science (the science lessons are meant to be done more independently so as to prepare them to further work independently as they grow older, so they have a reading selection to do everyday and then they either, do an activity such as a drawing a picture and copying a selection that describes it, or narrate to me what they've read, or answer a few questions in their notebooks, or on Thursdays they do a simple experiment to explain what they've learned.  I love how the lessons tie into the history lessons as well.  As now we're learning about the Ice Age and times after the Flood, so in science they're learning about the tundra ecosystem.  Love that!)

That's pretty much it.  The morning schedule takes about 2 hours, the afternoon takes about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.  I love how thorough it is and feel like nothing is left out.  This schedule is only Monday - Thursday.  The curriculum is written as a 4 day.  So on Friday's we do spelling tests and finish up anything we haven't done.  Like today we're doing an extra Bible study so we'll be more on course to hit a Christmas study in December and we're doing a chapter in our read aloud as we didn't get to it yesterday.  But if the kids are at a point in math or english where it's time for a test, we'll go ahead and do that on Friday as well, so we can start Monday fresh. This also leaves time for field trips, family projects (where real life learning happens!!) or errand running (you know for some "socialization").   It's working really well and I love it!

So I think in my side bar, I'll try to keep an updated list of the books we're reading, in case anyone wonders and I'll try every Friday to update with a new post.   We'll see!!

I'm on the kitchen computer and I don't have many pictures on it, so here's one of Abby reading to Flint the poodle at Half Price Books and a 28 week belly shot I just took with the computers photo booth!!  You can see Abby's cave drawing in the background!

Well I"m off to pay bills and we're working on a project in Noah's room today, so we need to get started on that.  Oh and of course, Friday is when we reach another week in our pregnancy so today we're 28 weeks!!  That means it's the start of the third trimester!!  I can't believe it!!  Can't wait to meet our new little girl!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Old North Bridge

 One of our favorite stops during our trip in April was at the Old North Bridge over the Concord River in Concord, Massachusetts.  We had read so many stories about this scene and what happened here that it was very moving and a bit emotional for all of us to actually be right where the Revolutionary War began.  This is a stop in the MinuteMan National Park which is a phenomenal place to visit.  The visitor's center has a fabulous film/enactment that really helps explain the events that happened in April 1775.  I can't say enough good things about it.

Noah wrote their initials in the sand on the bank of river.  I loved it!

A really cool tree on the property in front of the home.
The monument you can see behind the kids in the first three pictures was dedicated on the 4th of July 1837 and it was said that Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote his famous "Concord Hymn" for this occasion.  A famous stanza from that poem goes:

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,

Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,

Here once the embattled farmers stood

And fired the shot heard round the world
It was just really cool to visit here.  I would definitely recommend it.  They have a home at the site of the bridge that was there in 1775 (it's hard to imagine having a home so close to the "action" going on there) and they have displays and artifacts and really kind and helpful park rangers inside!!  And if you come with kids ask to do the Jr. Ranger program.  It's free and it's fun!

Monday, May 30, 2011

How We Roll!

Before it got so stinkin' hot out, we spent several mornings outside, swinging and reading our book.  The kids loved being read to this way.  It was actually easier for me because everyone was attentive and not wanting to be doing anything else.   Loving that "school" for us insn't confined to a classroom, but rather we try to learn wherever we are!  And that's how we roll!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The post in which I explain how I survived!

 Hi, I'm Jamie and I survived the climb up this!!  It's the Bunker Hill (actually called Breed's Hill) monument in Boston.  It was 294 steps of out of breathness, leg achiness and children pushiness.  But I did it!!  I went with just Noah and Abby.  Daddy (that lucky nut) was sitting with a sleeping Joshua in the car.  The kids were nothing if not mean about my slow ascent.  I mean come on, it's a lot of steps.  Once we hit 100, I made them stop every 25 for a quick breather!!  Abby told me going down I wasn't allowed to stop.  But I did.  It's hard going down too!! We did get a great view of the city from up there (even if it was rainy and foggy) although there was a huge drain in the center of the floor up at the top that scared me to death and I would not let the kids go near it!! (It dropped allllll the way down!!).  I had wiggly jello legs afterwards but I was glad we did it.  My legs however were furious!!  So much so that for the next few days if I wanted to even step up on a curb, I paid for it!!  So here's some pics of the view and the kids at the top.

Just to give more appreciation for how tall it is, I took this picture as we drove past on the highway.  It's tall!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Boston Common

We have so many pictures from our trip to Boston and Philadelphia, that I'm not sure where to start, but here's some from our visit to Boston Common.  We actually went twice, which is why you'll notice that the kids change clothes!  I loved Noah and Abby in their tri corner hats!!   Of course we talked about how the British had set up camps here in the years right before the Revolutionary War and that cows had grazed there at one point as well.  And that all the people we'd learned about from that time had walked these actual grounds like Samuel Adams, John and Abigail Adams, George Washington, Paul Revere, John Hancock.  Super cool!!

 I have pictures of Noah wearing this exact same coat, running in this exact same park, after the exact same (type) of animal-squirrels!!  My boys!!  So cute!  Of course, Noah's pics aren't digital, so I can't put them on here unless I take them out of the scrapbook, scan them in and load them.  I'm not doing that tonight.  Maybe another day!!

"Whas Zat?"  Joshua asks.  It's a squirrel Joshy!!

 The duck statues were something we really wanted to see as well.  We saw them on our first trip to Boston back in 2001 when Noah was Joshy's age.  We've even had a book on our bookshelves for many years now called "I'm Going to Boston to Visit the Ducks!".  I couldn't wait to give Abby and Joshua their turn on the ducks and of course to see Noah on them again!!

He seems a bit apprehensive!!

Just a finger!!

Awww, so cute!!!
 Ps, if you're at all interested, I did a "week in review" style post right below this one.  Just keep scrolling!

Week in Review May 9-13 2011

I've been wanting to do sort of "week in review" posts lately, mainly because I'm soooo behind in my scrapbooking that I fear if I don't write down what happens in our lives, I may forget it!!  So, while I may not get to it every week, I'm going to start now!

In schooling this week, the kids finished week 29 in spelling (3 weeks to go until book is finished).  Both kids had math tests and both got A's.  Abby does however need some help understanding fractions.  I need to get some hands on materials to work on that with her.  She can answer the questions correctly, but she doesn't understand the why part of it.  Noah is doing a unit on fractions as well, working to reduce them to their lowest common factor, adding and subtracting them, deciding if they're equivalent, etc..  He seems to be understanding pretty well.  We finished unit 2 in science about heavenly bodies (stars, asteroids, comets and meteors) did a meteor experiment, created comet artworks and took a quiz.  I was pretty happy with the level of comprehension there.  We finished our first unit in our new history books.  We did creation through the flood.  The kids made their own game called Creation Memory and the pretended to be Adam naming all the animals which really showed their creativity!!  We also made fossils of the kids feet and handprints.  We read "Adam and His Kin".  What a fascinating book.  We also finished reading "Emily's Runaway Imagination" by Beverly Cleary.  A cute, fun book and taught us a little about life in Oregon in the early 1900's.  We are doing our first writing unit in our new English books.  Noah is writing a compare/contrast essay and Abby is writing instructions for a game.  That is going very well.  I'm really liking our choice for that so far.  We also finished our first unit in our new Bible study, where we memorized Psalm 109: 6-10 and learned the hymn I Sing the Mighty Power of God along with our other studies.  It was a good week.

Other business:  We went to a new park (new to us) on Wednesday.  It's called the Patricia Allyn park.  It's between Lebanon and Centerville.  It's fabulous (pictures to come at a later date).  I loved it there and I think it may be one we frequent!  Abby had piano on Tuesday.  Her teacher was so impressed that last week Abby wrote out the check for our May payment.  She thought it was so cute to be in her handwriting!  We had a great evening Monday as we grilled out hot dogs, ate outside, planted two new trees and just played for awhile.  Noah had KidzMin on Wednesday and we had small group on Thursday (B), a great talk about trusting God in our marriages.  Friday night Abby and I went to Grammy's church (Steve's Mom) for a mother and daughter tea.  We arrived late due to a traffic tie up, but it was a nice evening anyway. 

Oh and I had a fabulous Mother's Day last Sunday!  I received homemade cards that were worth at least $5 each!!  I also got  a new canister set for the kitchen, something I've wanted for awhile.  I was pampered, loved on and doted on.  My husband even gave me a really long back rub.  It was a great day!

I think that's the highlights for this week!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania

When we drove to Boston last month, we decided it would be fun, and only an hour or so out of the way, to drive through Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania!  In that part of Pennsylvania, there are many radio stations that play polka music.  It was awesome!!  It reminded us so much of the Groundhog Day movie, so we played the music, and made the trip into town.  We found that they are very much proud of their groundhog legacy, and show their adoration for that little brown guy all over the town.!

When we first arrived, we stopped at the huge welcome sign!

 I loved the groundhog car wash!  So cute!

 They have statue groundhogs all over the town like this guy.  Sort of like how Cincinnati has flying pigs.  This was actually a Phil statue right outside his burrow where he lives the other 364 days of the year.

 He's in there hiding!
 Do you see him, he's in the bottom?

 In the park where his burrow is, there are some cannons.  Noah was being silly and I wanted to show you more of the statues in the background.

 And a wooden groundhog. 
We only stayed a little while.  Saw Phil, drove around town, Joshua napped.   But it was one of those spontaneous moments that I just love.  It was a lot of fun.  I'm glad we did it. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Homeschool Swap

I decided to do a swap with another homeschooling mama via The Homeschool Post. We prayed for each other, and sent each other a package full of fun gifts. I swapped with Dawn at Guiding Light Homeschool. She sent me a box full of things I just love. I got a beautiful frame for two pictures of our family, a box of nice pencils (I never seem to have pencils that sharpen properly and these are fantastic), a package of yummy vanilla scented candles, two boxes of candy (the gummies were eaten with 24 hours of being in my house!), and several things with inspirational verses from the Bible which were so appreciated. Just her prayers alone we were worth it all, and the gifts were a huge bonus!! This was a lot of fun and I know I'll do it again sometime soon!
Thank you Dawn!!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Upward 2010-2011

We completed another year of Upward basketball and cheerleading a few weeks ago. We can't say enough about this program, it's always a good experience. Here's a few photos from this year.

And this is Joshua being a good spectator watching his brother and sister (and wearing Daddy's hat!).