Monday, November 29, 2010

Our Morning in Pictures

I thought I'd take pictures of most of what we do in the morning for school. Just for those of you who may wonder what exactly our 'school' looks like. This is not everyday, of course. Some days we do more of something, some days we may not do as much of something, some days we may just do crafts or games. This is just what we did today.

 Mikaela and Eli working on their math worksheets. Eli was using wooden sticks as manipulatives on some of the problems.

 I found these magnetic numbers and math figures at the Dollar Tree, and we use them on cookie sheets. I put a problem and he puts the answer, or he just puts the whole problem and answer.
 Mercie playing with wooded magnetic letters (melissa and doug).
 Eli put together the puzzle of the United States. I bought this because they were having a hard time grasping the concept of city, state, country. Eli calls it the world puzzle, and I'm trying to get him to understand that the US is not the whole world. Guess I need to get a world puzzle too!
 Mercie in the play room playing a diego matching game. One of the few moments she has been quiet and still all day! :)
 Mikaela and Eli working on math puzzles. Got these for $5.00

 Eli's handwriting. Pretty good X's, don't ya think?
 Loooove these books. This one is the 1st grade level we jus started today. Mud wasps and paper wasps. Pretty interesting, and well written for young children.
 Also love this book. It's what we are using for history right now. Stories of life in England and on the voyage to America and Holland and various places in search of religious freedom. Very captivating stories.

 We started Foundations by Anne Elliott for our Bible Study each day. We have a memory verse each week and on Mondays they illustrate it. This weeks is 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (we are only going to memorize 16 though.). Eli drew a church because I explained the concept of doctrine. Mikaela drew Noah's family because the verse says 'righteousness' and she remembered that Noah was found righteous. Pretty smart kids. Oh and Mercie drew a church, too.

 Mercie helped me cook lunch today. Cheese toast! It's just miracle whip on wheat bread with a slice of american cheese, baked until crunchy. We usually have it for breakfast, but I figured it was just like a cheese sandwhich.

A few things I didnt get pictures of :
Mikaela wrote a book report on Junie B. Jones, "Aloha-ha-ha"
Mikaela did her spelling
Eli and I did 'phonics' with the wooden magnetic letters and magnetic board. I would give him a word to spell like 'pig' and he would spell it. Then I would tell him to make it 'big' and then 'beg' etc. It shows him how the letters and blends work together. We have stopped using his phonics book for right now because it jumps from sounds to reading in one lesson! We aren't ready for that yet. He enjoys this better, anyway.

Like I said, we don't follow lesson plans or anything. We just work on what we need to work on and move on when we're ready and read about what interests us at this particular moment.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Beginning of The Season

Thanksgiving has come and gone in a flash. We alternate celebrating at Rods family and my family every year. This year we went to my dad's parents and had so much fun. It's always fun to see relatives you don't get to see very often. The kids had fun playing with their cousins, and my aunts involved Mikaela in the dinner preparations, which she LOVED. She loves feeling older and important. Eli ran around the yard with one of his cousins and Mercie, 'scaring' us with fake snakes and shooting a Nerf gun. Silas was the star of the show, being the newest and cutest baby. He has been rolling all over the floor lately! Sunday, he learned how to roll from back to front. Now he can get anywhere he wants by rolling. It's so funny! He'll be under his crib, under our tables in the living room, under the Christmas tree.

Which...we put up Thursday! It's so cute with a mixture of homemade ornaments and store bought ornaments.

 We made these little reindeer with small pots, pompoms, wiggly eyes, pipecleaners and ribbon.
 Cardstock and buttons.
 Recycled Christmas cards we made into ornaments!
 Cut out felt using cookie cutter for gingerbread man and paint pens.
Couldn't resist posting a pic of my sweetheart.

And presents already under it! The kids are each getting 5 gifts each this year. Only 2 big ones, and by big I mean in size not dollar amount! I'm spending $100 or less on each of them. They will get some small stuff in their stockings, but nothing expensive. We don't need alot of toys and they don't need clothes. Silas is only getting 1 or 2 though, being he'll only be 6 months old on Christmas. I just love this season of family and togetherness and presents and of course celebrating the birth of our Lord.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Yesterday the kids and I made a Thankful Poster. We just cut out pictures from magazines of stuff we are thankful for and glued them to a poster, which I hung on the wall to remind us to be thankful.
Since it's Thanksgiving tomorrow, I thought I'd just share a few of the many things I am thankful for.

1) Most of all, I am thankful that GOD saved a wretch like me.
2) My husband. I am so in love with that man.
3) My kids. They bless my life so much.
4) Abundance. We don't lack for anything.
5) Health. None of my family has faced major health issues.
6) The fact that I am able to homeschool my children.
7) My church and the ability to worship freely.
8) My parents. They are marvelous.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Mikaela

It's hard to believe that my oldest child is 8 years old today. It seems like not too long ago I was heading to the hospital to give birth to her. A ton of emotions rolling through my mind - fear; excitement; anticipation. After a long hard labor (complete with 6 hours of pushing due to a swollen cervix), my sweet baby arrived into my life and forever changed it.

Mikaela is a wonderful, pleasant child to be around. She is full of humor and wit; she is incredibly smart; she is a joy. She is a big helper to me at home - she holds Silas while I'm trying to cook or clean. She bathes Mercie most nights for me. She helps Eli with his math. She helps me cook. She helps me fold and put away clean clothes. She helps me clean up after dinner. And she does it most of the time without complaint or arguing.

I am so proud of Mikaela. She asked Jesus to come into her heart June 22, 2009. She reads her Bible (her real Bible) every night, and even asked for a copy of Jesus Calling for her birthday. She is very spiritual for her age, and asks deep thought provoking questions.

I am so thankful for Mikaela and what she means to me and her daddy and her baby brothers and sister. She is very special and loved very much.

Happy 8th Birthday Mikaela! You are a treasure in this family. We love you!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Busy Weekend

We had a busy busy weekend! Mikaela's birthday party was Saturday. I would love to post pictures today, but my camera batteries were dead so I didn't get any pictures. Rod videotaped it, and my mom took pictures, so I'll have to post pictures when I get some from her. She had a blast! It was a fun party, and she had her best friend Eden spend the night with her. Some of Rod' family was in visiting from California, and they came, also.
Sunday we had Thanksgiving dinner after church, and it was so good! We had a good time of fellowship with our church family, and then my hubby took me shopping.
I really racked up on some stuff! We went to Michael's because I had to get some supplies for our homemade Christmas gifts. On both sides of the family, this year we are making gifts instead of buying them. This is going to be great, because those gifts are treasured more. Plus my kids don't need anything! Rod and I are going to buy them each a few gifts, but nothing, NOTHING, like we usually do. I also picked up some wooded alphabet tiles and few wooden brain teaser puzzles just for fun. We also got some things to make some ornaments for our tree this year.
Then we went to Ross Dress for Less, and I got some amazing deals on some homeschool toys and games. I got a Melissa and Doug chalkboard/magnetic alphabet board/dry erase board for $10; Melissa and Doug lacing animals for $5; a huge USA floor puzzle for $6; a childrens USA encyclopedia for $7; a math game for $5; a DVD and flashcards for Mercie for $3; wooden alphabet puzzle for $10 and some gigantic workbooks full of great worksheets for $2.50 on clearance. Then we went to the Dollar Tree and I got some wooden magnetic numbers, a few beading and lacing sets, lots of craft supplies, 5 educational books, USA map coloring book, a create your own calander, and a few baskets.
I had a blast! I have been wanting some of these things for the kids for a while, and it seems like I got everything in one day! We are trying to move away from school at home and do more spontaneous learning. I want to have a huge selection of educational toys, books, and games for the kids, and focus more on hands on learning, and less on 'let's do this worksheet, then this worksheet, then this worksheet...' etc. The kids love worksheets (not math or writing, though). Eli loves sequencing, patterns, matching, etc. Mikaela loves graphing and charting. Mercie loves to have anything that looks like their worksheets!
We are taking a vacation from school this week to rest and enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday and Mikaela's birthday (which is actually tomorrow).

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful that where sin abounded, grace abounded much more! (Romans 5:20) I am thankful that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! Despite my sin (and trust me, there's been alot of it), Jesus loves me. He LOVES me. How can He love me, when I've been so mean to Him? When I've ignored Him, when I've disobeyed Him, when I've disrespected Him, when I've put Him behind so many other things, when I've tried to 'fit' Him into my little box? I'm so thankful that He doesn't keep a record of our sins...I'm so thankful He throws them as far as the east is from the west...I'm so thankful that when I ask His forgiveness, I can put on His robe of righteousness...I'm so thankful that He is full of GRACE and MERCY and COMPASSION and LOVE. I'm so thankful that, even though I am a wretched sinner, even though I am no where near close to where He wants me to, He is still moving in my life and His grace is still abounding.

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I am also thankful for my children. They have been memorizing scripture the past 2 1/2 weeks, and memorizing it well. Ephesians 4:32; Psalm 46:10, and this week Proverbs 12:22. Even Mercie is memorizing, just from hearing them say it over and over. I am so proud of them! I am also memorizing it, and it's a blessing when Daddy hears them reciting the Bible.

We have a new game that we actually got out of the ABC devotional book. It's a thankful guessing game. It's kind of like I Spy. We each take turns, giving clues about something we're thankful for. "I'm thankful for somewhere we go to learn about Jesus..." "CHURCH!" The kids love it, and it helps them to understand all the things we have to be thankful for. They get pretty deep with it, too. Mikaela said yesterday, "I am thankful for something we should live by" We were guessing, the Bible, the commandments, etc. She said, "FAITH." Of course, we can get silly with it, too, but we are thankful for the silly things!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

I Am Trying To

1.) Give more honor to my husband. He is worthy of respect. He is a wonderful loving husband, and a playful fun father, and a hard working provider for our family. Yet, sometimes I am critical of the things he does (wrongfully). I make sarcastic remarks toward him. I don't always have a good attitute toward him. I want to give him honor, because he is the leader of my family and I love him so much. Whether or not he deserves respect or honor, though, is irrelevent. God commands us to be submissive and honor our husbands. And by honoring our husbands we are honoring God. By being submissive to our husbands, we are submitting to God.

2.) Be more patient with the kids. Too often I lose my patience, my temper, and my emotions with my children. I want to speak more lovingly, react more compassionately, and discipline more gently.

3.) Have more joy. The wife and mother creates the atmosphere of the home. When Rod comes home, I want the atmosphere to be joyful and peaceful. I want to sing praises around the house all day, and make our home a place where the Holy Spirit continually dwells. I want anyone that enters our home to feel the Holy Spirit. I want to keep all bitterness, anger, selfishness, rebellion, hatefulness OUT of my home.

I am reminded of that childrens song, "He's still working on me, to make me what I outta be..."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I am participating in Thankful Thursday today! So here are the top five things we are thankful for today.

1.) Mommy - A beautiful day and picnic at the park with the kiddos and my mom today.

2.) Mikaela - "Having a mommy that loves me."

3.) Eli - "Going to the park today."

4.) Mercie - "My stroller." (baby doll stroller)

5.) Silas - Well, if he could talk, I'm sure he's most thankful for his big brother and sisters who entertain him on a daily, hourly basis, and his mommy who totes him around all day long.

I always like reading my mom's thankful Thursday post, here.  It's a reminder to thank God for the little things He allows us to enjoy every day.

And now...for a recipe that is DEE-LICIOUS.

Boil a package of boneless skinless chicken breasts AND a package of pasta, any type.
Shred the chicken.
Add a jar of Ragu, Roasted Garlic Parmesean sauce to the chicken.
Add a can of Italian diced tomatoes to that.
Pour noodles into a casserole pan.
Sprinkle some mozzarella cheese over the noodles.
Pour the chicken mixture over that.
Bake until bubbly!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Family Bed

The older I get, the more and more my views change. I can remember not too long ago when I couldn't even imagine sharing MY bed with babies.  And last night, as I lay next to my sweet Silas, and glanced over at Mercie on his other side, and my hubby squished against the wall on the other side of me, I felt joy!

Joy at knowing my youngest daughter felt comfort in our bed. She doesn't always sleep with us; she starts out in her toddler bed in the room she shares with Mikaela. But there are some nights she just needs that security, that comfort of being next to us.

Joy at knowing my sweet baby can roll over and nurse whenever he wakes up hungry, or just the comfort of nursing for a few minutes to get himself back to sleep. Joy at knowing he feels safe and warm next to Mommy.

It's not always comfortable when you have 4 (sometimes 5 and sometimes even 6) bodies in a bed, even if it a king size bed. I wouldn't have it any other way. One day, they will be too old to even want to climb in our bed. One day, they will have their own bed with their own blessings crawling in it with them!

I have learned to cherish the moments when I am rocking Silas to sleep. Yes, rocking him to sleep each time he needs a nap, each night before bedtime. A few years ago, that would be unheard of to me! "He needs to learn to put himself to sleep." "He is too spoiled." A few phrases you might have heard me to say.  Now? Now I realize that you can't spoil a baby. You can't hold a baby too much. You can't give a baby enough comfort and love. So what if he needs to be rocked? I love to rock him! It's the time I can sit and enjoy the smell of his hair, the way his fist grabs my shirt, the way he'll look at me with his sleepy grin, and the way he looks as he's sleeping. So peaceful. So content.

I am just treasuring the moments because they are quickly slipping through my fingers. Each day that goes by, I just want to bottle it and save it. My children are growing so fast. Mikaela will be 8 years old the 23 of this month! Eli is 5. Mercie will be 3 in February. Silas is 4.5 months.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Picture Day

I took the kids to get their pictures taken yesterday, and on the way home we stopped at the park to get a few more. They turned out cute!! Here are a few:

Is it me or do I have the most beautiful kids in the world??

By the way...Mercie wouldn't crack a smile for the photographer! She just stared at him. Wouldn't grin, wouldn't change her facial expression. All of the pictures with her in them, well, everyone else smiled beautifully and did whatever was asked of them, but Mercie? She is just Mercie.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Quiet Time Today

Got these adorable fleece zipups from Walmart today for Eli and Silas for.....$5!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Christian Liberty Nature Readers...

are so awesome! We have the Kindergarten, 1 and 2 grade levels. Currently we are reading through the Kindergarten one. It's supposed to be read by them, but it's pretty tough. Mikaela can read it, but we are using it as a read aloud. It's an alphabetical animal book.Each letter has 2 pages that are dedicated to an animal that starts with that letter. A for alligator, B for beetle, C for camel and so on. The  kids love it and it's what we are using for science right now. Just reading and learning.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Scripture Memory Cards

I have been slacking on making my children memorize scripture since Silas has been born. It seems like all we can do just to fit everything into a day! But scripture memory is so important and I feel convicted to keep it up and make it a priority. I searched and searched and found what we are going to use at That site has tons of verses, memory cards, coloring, puzzles and handwriting sheets for many many verses. We are starting this week with Ephesians 4:32 "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other as in Christ, God forgave you." It seemed fitting for this time in our life! I printed out the memory verse on 4 x 6 index cards and laminated them for each of the kids. We are going to keep them in an index card binder and add to it each week. So far they are learning it! Even Mercie, who says "Be kind and passionate to another".

I am also trying to get more regular with family devotions. It's so hard to do the things that are the most important. Why is that??? We started reading My ABC Memory Verses by Susan Hunt. We went through it last year, once a week, but it is a really great devotional. We don't memorize the scriptures, but just read the stories and it opens a dialogue. We are going backwards, though, from Z to A!! We are only on Y, but in a few weeks we'll be through and I'll have to find something else.

We also started our Louisiana 2 week unit study yesterday. We have a big outline of LA on a piece of posterboard and they have individual outlines in their ongoing lapbooks. We are adding to them each day, the capital and our city yesterday, the flag, seal and motto today, and tomorrow the state symbols. It's pretty fun and interesting to learn all the facts that I didn't even know! Like, Baton Rouge means red stick. I asked Eli what the capital of LA was and he shouted, "Red Stick!!" LOL.

I'll post pictures later this week of our memory cards and LA outline.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fall Carnival Fun

Saturday night we had our church fall carnival. Or "tarn-a-bull" as Mercie calls it! The kids dressed up and had a blast. Mikaela was Dorthy from the Wizard of Oz; Eli was a policeman; Mercie was Little Red Riding Hood; and Silas was supposed to be a dalmation puppy, but he hated his costume as you can see in the picture below!

                                            Pumpkin Painting!

                    Screaming Silas didn't wear a costume to the carnival.

The carnival was fun. We had hot dogs and played games and won prizes and cakes. Eli is already asking when the next carnival is!