Monday, October 17, 2011

A Hiatus

I love blogging about our everyday lives and homeschool experiences, and I am very humbled that people out there find my blog worth following. :)   I would have felt guilty for just disappearing off the face of the earth.  I was working on a post about our fall break when some rather serious personal issues came about.  It would feel strange to put on a happy face and blog about each week as if nothing were wrong, and I don't like air out personal problems.  I'm still going to sign on and check out what all you other fabulous homeschoolers are up to. :) Lots of prayers would also be greatly appreciated during this time.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Week in Review #46: Jj is for Jellyfish and Jellybeans

Jellyfish craft.  1/2 paper plate and crepe paper. Simple! :)
Sorting jellybeans...fine motor, hand/eye coordination,

Goldilocks and the Three Bears in
reverse :)

Autumn drew a face for the first time!
Pretty good!

Jj worksheets
This was a very simple week.  Aside from our rocky Monday, the rest of the week was very pleasant. Hannah got a B on her 4th math test.  I think that's more my fault because I print off her math in black ink to save on the color so she couldn't really tell the difference between the coins in the money section.  I think if there is a section with money I will print in color. Pennies aren't gray after all. :) 

I think I can declare Autumn about 50% potty trained! She's actually able to wear underwear around the house and stay dry for  the most part and tell me when she needs to go, but I have not ventured out without her in a pull-up although when we were at Kroger she asked to go potty even though she had a diaper on.  And she went!  I'm excited when the day comes I am officially not buying diapers for anyone! For the past six and a half years I have had someone in diapers! Autumn was a few months old when Hannah was officially potty-trainbed, so the diaper-wearing kind of overlapped. :)

Next week we will be on fall break.  I already feel relaxed just thinking about it.  I will have school stuff prepared in case the girls want to do some.  Also tonight I am picking up Ryan at the airport after two long months at the police academy!! He's been able to visit twice since being gone, but we haven't seen him in over a month.  We are all so ready for this to be done. Perfect timing for a break!

This post is linked up with the Weekly Wrap-Up.

Printables (not all are pictured)

Space Case math game - First Grade a la Carte
Letter Jj - 1+1+1=1
Letter Jj worksheet - Homeschool Creations
J is for Jesus - Christian Preschool Printables

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Fly, Fly Away Butterfly

I got these wings for $3 at Goodwill! First Saturday of every  month is 50% everything and I highly recommend checking it out, but  that's a whole different post entirely. :)

Since the girls already have their Halloween costumes they are using them for dress up, but they are so nice I'm really hoping they don't tear them up.  Hannah's going to be a princess for Halloween so maybe we can just add the wings to make her a fairy princess. :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I consider it all joy...sometimes

Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. - James 1:2-3

I consider parenting a great joy in my life, but yesterday was one of the less than joyful moments.  Hannah was having some behavior issues, giving me an attitude when she was told to do something.  I said if she didn't straighten up she couldn't play soccer.

Long story short, I caught her slapping her sister and knew I had  to follow through.  I cannot describe how much I hated having to go through with this punishment.  I took no pleasure in it at all.  It was the last game and Hannah has been loving soccer.

At our Strong-Willed Child bible study last Wednesday, a woman in class talked about a friend's teenage daughter who got her car taken away for lying about where she was going to be one night.  This girl knew she would have her car back in less than a week, because her parents never followed through with any prior punishments.   I could have called off the punishment thinking I would go through with it the next time, but  it would no doubt have gotten harder and harder to do.  Before I know it Hannah and Autumn will be teenagers and well aware of the pushover I had become. I emailed her coach, and his wife responded saying she understood and respected my follow-through since so many parents don't do that.  I really appreciated that bit of encouragement.

I told Hannah I let her coach know she would not be at the game, and she acted like a big girl.  I was quite proud of her.  While at the time it was so hard to do, I have absolutely no regrets! I hope I can encourage all parents to follow through and make your statements more than just empty threats.  Your kids may claim to hate you, but they will come to respect you and definitely won't forget having to miss out on that one thing they love.

Week in Review #45: Ii is for Insects and Ice Cream

My star students :)
Even though we did an insect and ice cream theme last week, we had more fall activities than we did during F and H week! I guess the fall spirit is finally hitting me. :) The girls did have some hands-on insect activity (all done on their own :-p) through digging in the dirt in the flower bed.  I didn't mind since everything is starting to die. They are both intrigued by bugs.  Crazy girls. 

Hannah started adding double-digits this week. When I saw it coming up in her book I really dreaded it, but it hasn't been too bad. You just have to break it down little by little--add the tens place and then the ones place. Not so bad.  We finished up Venus in astronomy.  Our next lesson is the moon, which I'm going to wait on because I want it to coincide when we do the letter M. :) Until then we can focus more on other subjects, possibly get a little ahead.

The week's activities:



cutting practice...getting better!!

We made a chain counting down the days
when Ryan comes back.  This is 10 days and
now there is only 4!!! :-D

A pic that wouldn't cooperate :P These are fall trees. The
trunk and branches are hands and forearm and then they
finger painted the foliage using red, yellow, and orange

fall sensory bin

ice cream letter  match
safety first in soccer


Insect cutting strips...these can be done simply with
paper, a sharpie, and stickers.  Super easy to include
in any theme, or use your kids' favorite characters! :)

Hannah wanted to have a picnic in the yard for lunch on
Thursday :)
This week we are working on Jj, and so far everything is going very well.  Yesterday was a bit bumpy (more on that later...oy), but Ryan will be home on Saturday so this week can't be anything but good!!

Printables (not all are pictured)

Ellen McHenry's Basement Workshop - Insect Activity Pages (these are all black and white which I fully appreciated! I cut all the activities and stapled them together to make little booklets.)
Lanternfish - Letter Ii worksheets
2 Teaching Mommies - Bee worksheets
2 Teaching Mommies - Ice Cream worksheets
Homeschool Creations - Fall Fun Learning Pack

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Shopping Trip 9/27

Wow, it has been too long. I've really been slacking in my couponing.  I cleaned out my binder yesterday and it was not pretty. Yesterday was the last day of the Buy 10 Save $5 sale at Kroger (the new ad here starts over on Wednesday as opposed to Sunday). The kids went to a friend's house (thank you Aprill!!!) so I was not distracted by them fighting over the steering wheel in those ridiculous carts with the cars attached (I'm sure I'm not the only parent who would welcome an armed robbery at that point.  Take me! Take me! :-p).

1-Digiorno pizza
1-California Pizza Kitchen
2-Yoplait Kids yogurt
1-Lucky Charms cereal bars
1-Starbucks VIA instant coffee
1-Fiber One brownies (these are awesome!)
2-Multigrain Cheerios
4-Uncle Ben's Ready Rice
1-Marcal Small Steps napkins
1- Reach Floss (FREE!)
1-Heinz Ketchup
1-Schick Mens' razors
1-Schick Quattro razors
2-Lady Speedstick deodorant
1- 3pack Horizon chocolate milk
1-Febreze Set and Refresh
2-Jimmy Dean turkey sausage crumbles
3-bags of Fun Size candy bars (bought for the church's fall festival...I better take them tonight or they will be eaten! Just saying ;-D)

Retail: $98.02 +tax
Paid: $39.90 +tax
59% savings!

This  must be the high those selfish hoarders people on Extreme Couponing are talking about. I'm anxious to try that Starbucks...hope it's good. :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall (Bucket List) Tree

I got this idea from Almost Unschoolers, but ours is is on a bit of a smaller scale. This one is about 2 feet tall and our list is a bit shorter.  The kids really had fun putting it together. Hannah helped me cut out the leaves and Autumn practiced her cutting on the scraps. Our list includes basics such as choosing costumes (done!), visiting a pumpkin patch, corn maze, the church's fall festival, etc. You need a  whopping four supplies: construction paper, Sharpie, scissors, and tape. I love projects that require nothing fancy.  It's especially fun to add in your  own personal fall celebration such as birthdays, etc. We have three birthdays (Emma, Autumn, and Grammie) and my anniversary. :) Do this with your kids and you'll be even more excited about fall!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Week in Review #44: Hh is for Halloween and Headstrong

I know it's a bit early for Halloween, but it's still fun. :) We even got Halloween costumes this week.  Hannah will be a "storybook princess" (which is basically a Cinderella knock-off) and Autumn will be a kitty which comes with a little dress, head band, and bloomers (or pantalettes, I guess they're called). And after Halloween they can be dress-up clothes. :)

Still working on the whining thing (more so with Autumn). I'm becoming very patient, and maybe a little amused, when Autumn has a big drag-out fit when she doesn't get her way. She didn't get a snack at Hannah's soccer game on Monday (sometimes there will be extras so siblings will get some), so she wailed and stomped all the way to the car.  When we got to the car she had the gall to ask if she could watch a DVD. Silly girl. On the drive home she continued thrashing and kicking the seat.  She was wearing her Sketchers Twinkle Toes so all you saw were all these lights flashing everywhere. Ha. I think  ignoring her was more of a punishment than a spanking would have been.

On top of this, I'm trying to be proactive in potty training.   I've been trying to take her to the potty every 15 minutes, so I'm hoping the general idea will click. Hannah was 3 and a half before it completely clicked with her, so I  have six more months before I should really start to panic.  Autumn is actually showing some interest.  Twice she has taken it upon herself to sit on the potty. Sure, she's already wet her pants but it's the thought that counts. She did pee in the potty once though! Go Autumn!

Now for some school-related fun!

 We are learning about Venus, and this is an experiment on what happens after one of its volcanoes erupts. I'll make a separate post about this. Such a simple experiment!
 Autumn is putting pieces of straws on to pipecleaners. Helps with fine motor skills. :) Hannah got into it as well.

 Meagan got Emma and Autumn both Dora puzzles for their birthday.  Each box has three puzzles. They are about 15 pieces each.  Autumn is getting better and better about putting together most of it herself. I'll guide her, saying, "Fill the hole in Dora's face." :)
 "H is for..." cut and paste
 Halloween 3-piece puzzles.  I'm sure  it sucked out a good bit of color ink, but they were too cute. :) These reminded me of those progress puzzles where you move to more pieces little by little, so maybe I can make some 4 and 5-pieces puzzles for next time.
 This was from the same day with the straws and pipecleaners.  Hannah continued making jewelry long after Autumn moved on to something else. :)
 I heard about this as a rainy day activity, but Hannah had found Ryan's tape measure and was already measuring various items around the house. So I gave her a list. She sure enjoyed it. We'll count this as math. :)

Getting down and dirty with the Play Doh Fun Factory :-D

This week definitely had it's moments, and I am so grateful for the weekend. Hannah had a soccer game this morning and almost scored a goal....for the other team.  But she looked adorable doing it, and she has so much fun! "I love soccer and I love Mr. Donald (her coach)!" she proclaimed earlier this week.

Next week will be Ii. The themes will be insects and ice cream (but not combined! Gross!).

This post is linked to the Weekly Wrap-Up

Printables (not all are pictured) - H coloring pages
Homeschool Creations - Preschool Alphabet
LAWTEEDAH - Halloween Tot Pack
Do2Learn - Shape Tracing
Coloring Book Fun - Halloween coloring pages
DLTK - Halloween bingo cards

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Handprint Ghosts -- Halloween Craft

Thanks again, Pinterest! :-D This craft is perfect for teachers looking to decorate their bulletin boards in their classrooms or, obviously, for decoration at home. I recommend cardstock for durability. For a splash of color use patterned scrapbook paper (I may try that tomorrow).

googly eyes
glue stick
hands (duh :-p)

We bought Halloween costumes today.  Can't believe there's still 6 weeks until Halloween.. That feels so long, but I think I'm going to try and enjoy fall for as long as possible! It never feels long enough to me.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Week in Review #43: Gg is for Giraffe and Gross Negligence

Making fall trees one morning as a "warm-up" before
actually beginning school

We had a good week. Some bumps throughout the week (you'll read more towards the bottom), but I think that's a requirement for all homeschool families. :)
Autumn enjoyed learning about the letter 'G'--mostly the gluing activity you see below. :)  She was doing pretty good and then decided to go all random,. which is fine.

This activity only requires a sharpie, construction paper, scissors, and a glue stick.  Autumn loves gluing stuff to paper so I figured why not give her lots of exposure to our current letter. :) I think I'm going to do this every week. What's cool is you can create a bunch of sets ahead of time and put them all in little ziploc bags so you can just grab it when you need it.

I don't know about Hannah, but I sure enjoy teaching the language portion of school.  Finally, my English degree is being used! LOL We learned about past, present, and future tenses, and she caught on pretty quickly. We're getting into the money section in math, and I swear that was the bane of my existence last year.  I sure hope it clicks better this year. I got some encouragement from other homeschool moms that it will click when it clicks, and that it's nothing to get stressed over.

Sister Storytime :)
I'm currently participating in a Bible study on Wednesday nights based on the book The Strong-Willed Child by James Dobson (have I mentioned that he is my parenting hero?).  Shouldn't be any surprise to those who personally know us, but Autumn is my strong-willed one. This will be where the "gross negligence" thing comes into play. 

It dawned on me this week that I am neglecting to correct Autumn when she whines and demands (i.e. "I want juice" as opposed to "May I have some juice?"). That's not really doing her any favors, is it? I told both girls a few days ago that if there was whining, tattling, or bickering between them I just wasn't going to hear it.   I completely ignore them, and so far it seems to go over pretty good.  Hannah caught on to this new regime pretty quickly, but Autumn is so appalled that her whining has not gotten her very far this week. Driving to the store to do grocery shopping Autumn dropped her precious Violet and wailed and screamed because I didn't pick it up right away like I normally do.  I told her she had to stop whining first.  She thrashed and screamed, and I started thinking that grocery shopping at that time may have been a mistake.  Long story short we survived shopping, and I was reminded while I consider shopping by myself a treat.

"Train your child up in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." - Proverbs 22:6

Please say a prayer for me as I continue to train Hannah and Autumn, in hopes they will go to the Lord and not turn from Him!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Autumn Chronology

Tomorrow as of 7:58 AM, my Autumn Bottom will be 3 years old!! I just can't believe it. That's how old Hannah was when Autumn was born!
In utero-26ish weeks

A couple days old...don't know why the
picture did that :(

7 chubby little fuzzy!!! I miss her fuzzy head! :)

1 year

18 months
2 years old, with her daddy (who will never be able to
deny that's his child! ;D)
3 years old...well, almost :)
Autumn, Autumn. She is such a hot mess, but I think that's what makes me a perfect fit for our family. :) And if you have not heard her bark like a puppy or all about her new "by-yet" (Violet), then you are seriously missing out!

Happy birthday Autumn! We love you!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Totally Cute #4

I love me some hair bows! Definitely a perk to having girls. ;)

Walmart seems to have revamped their birthday section with really cute favors and other fare not splattered with licensed characters. :) These bows were in the favor section and only 97 cents each! These were the only two patterns I saw. There is a plastic clasp in the back.  I can't think off the top of my head what clothes the girls have that match these, but I'm willing to find something. :-D

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Almond Joy Cookies

I love those Almond Joy Pieces, but I was really in the mood for something in a cookie form. :) I found a basic sugar cookie recipe but I didn't have enough flour so I had to adjust measurements and then substitute some ingredients.  I think I pretty much made up my own recipe. :-D  They actually turned out really good!!

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup cream cheese
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup Egg Beaters (or  3 egg yolks)
1 3/4 cup flour
1 cup Almond Joy Pieces

Preheat the oven to 325.  Beat butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer for 30 seconds.  Add sugar and baking soda.  Mix until combined.  Mix in Egg Beaters and vanilla.  Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer and stir in the rest.  Stir in Almond Joy Pieces.  Drop by the tablespoonful on a slight greased cookie sheet.  Bake 15-20 minutes, until the edges are slightly browned.

Wordless Wednesday: Blast from the Past

I'm seriously dying right now. I was flipping through our pictures, pondering the daunting task of organizing them.  I came across and about melted into a puddle all over the floor!! Hannah is about 15 months old here.  We all forget just how chubby she really was. I'm pretty sure she wears the same as she did then. ;)

I probably shouldn't be looking at these pictures since I'm feeling a major flare up of baby fever coming on.

Linked up with Wordless Wednesday at Mama to 4 Blessings.

Monday, September 12, 2011

First Soccer Game

Hannah the Swift
This past Saturday was Hannah's first soccer game! It went very well. All the kids got to play in at least two quarters and received a lot of help from their coaches.  This is 6-7 year olds, so it's not quite so hardcore. They didn't keep score which definitely made it more fun. :)  Hannah played goalie for a quarter and stopped a goal! She had a lot of fun! I'm very proud!

Stopping a goal! Woohoo!

getting direction from Mr Donald

giving Mr. Donald a high five

Run Hannah Run!

We have a game tonight, practice on Thursday, and another game on Saturday.  This all will last about a month. Busy, busy. :) My parents will be in town this weekend, so they'll get to see Hannah play.  Hopefully Hannah won't stop mid-field to wave to Grendy and Papaw.  Oh, well, she probably will and that's okay. :)


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