Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Dry Erase Marker Holder

Yesterday I got some new dry erase markers.  Then for lunch I had some Chinese Vegetable rolls, from the freezer section.  I thought the box my lunch was in was kind of a neat shape and was trying to think of something I could do with it when I remembered that I was going to need a container to keep my dry erase markers in.  I thought I could cover the box and make it pretty.

So I found some pretty fabric that reminds me of my Grandma.  I had it in my fabric drawer.  Then I set the box on the backside of the fabric and traced around the bottom, then laid it over on both sides with the flaps open and traced around them, too.  Then I cut out two pieces of fabric from the shape I had traced, making sure to leave a little bit extra around the edges to fold over as I was working on my project.  Then I used tacky glue to carefully glue the fabric to the box and I folded the fabric edges over the edge of the flaps to help keep it in place.  After I had glued both pieces of fabric on the box I glued the flaps down into the box.  When I was finished I added a little ribbon trim to cover up the cut edge of my fabric.

It is just the right size for our dry erase markers, and I didn't have to buy anything to make it.  You could also to the same thing with pretty paper.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Luke 6:40

"A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher."

God, help me to be a good teacher, using the ability you've given me to train my children.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Missions Conference

Our Family attended Proclaim Missions Conference this weekend at our church.  The kids enjoyed going to "different countries" and learning about different aspects of those countries and missionaries that are there.  Jeff and I enjoyed hearing about many of our church missionaries and how God is using them.  We had the opportunity to attend 3 breakout sessions where we got to choose which mission teams/groups we wanted to learn more about.  We went to hear what the Mexico team is doing, as we know one of God's missionaries on that team.  Then we went to hear about Cadence International, which is a ministry to our Military and their families.  Lastly, we went to hear from the team in China.  There is so much going on that they do and much of their work is with men who live on the streets, God has given them so many opportunities to help physically and spiritually.  We have a new calendar of God's missionaries to pray for one specific missionary every week.  I'm looking forward to implementing this new calendar into our school prayer time and hopefully we will get to know some more of God's missionaries better.

It's amazing how God takes plain, ordinary people who do ordinary things and uses them for His extraordinary work.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Christmas Pictures

I finally downloaded the pictures from our camera.  Sorry it took me so long.
We saw Santa at the Library.

What!  These aren't toys?

Christmas Morning.

Mimi made bonnets for the girls.

Felicity with her namesake.

Organization with School Supplies

Fatima over at Fur Lined Toilet Seats invited me to join her with my organizational tips for my kids. 

One of the most recent things I have done is use a corner cabinet to house our standard, everyday school supplies.

I found some small caddies in the dollar section a few weeks back and assigned one to each of the kids.  If they have something that belongs specifically to them it goes in their caddy.

Then I have a small set of 3 drawers where I keep:
Drawer 1: stapler and post-its
Drawer 2: pencils, erasers, and hand-held pencil sharpener
Drawer 3:  glue sticks and scissors.

Then we have a specific place for coloring books and another for magazines, that can be cut up for projects.  A few other commonly used odds and ends just sit on the shelf.

Next to my cabinet I have another set of drawers that houses our commonly used art supplies, that the kids have to have permission to use, but are now easily accessible.  In these drawers are stickers, stamps, paint, beads, foam shapes and ink for my printer, etc.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Kids Shopping

I took the kids shopping.  There's nothing new with that, except they each had $5 to spend from their Christmas money.  I told them they each had $5 to spend however they wanted with my approval.  They could spend it all in one place, or save some for something else. 

First we went to Mardel's.  They didn't find anything their they wanted that was within their budget.  Next we went to Michael's, there Katy found a heart shaped cardboard valentine with a yarn hanger.  It was white and had a design on it to color - $1.  She also found a little pink pig in the small animals - $2.
Kaomi found a package of 4 Valentine's Bracelets -$1 and a baby horse in the small animals - $2.  Kent didn't find anything there, so he decided to save his money to spend at Target.

We went to Fudrucker's for lunch, as the girls decided that they would rather have grilled cheese than chick-fil-a and Kent wanted a burger.

After lunch we went to Target.  First we went to the dollar section.  Kent right away found a sword - $1, then a mailbox - $1, and a red heart shaped basket - $1.  He wanted to save his other money for Legos.  I told him that Legos cost more than $2, so he put the mailbox back.  Kaomi found a pink princess wand - $1, a pink heart shaped basket - $1 and a pink headband - $1.  She had to decide which one to put back, the headband.  Katy found a small package of farm animals - $1, a barn - $1, and a box of foam sticker hearts - $1.  She decided to put the barn back.  Then we went with Kent to look at the legos, he couldn't find any for $3 so he found 3 hot wheels cars he wanted.  Then Kaomi found  a purple car, so she decided to put the pink basket back.

I found a sleeper for Felicity that was $7 so her extra came from her clothing budget.

They had a lot of fun and it was a great hands on math lesson and decision making lesson for them, too.  Then we did our grocery shopping.

Friday, January 14, 2011

If you were to visit on a school day...

I've been asked how do you homeschool with little ones always around and what does your day look like by several people.

So I thought I'd share with you how we do things around here.

First thing in the morning it is quiet time until 7:30.  You may read books or play quietly in your room, but no yelling, talking loud, or fighting.

Around 7:30 all the kids (except Felicity) are sent to get dressed and then they have their morning chores to complete.  Their morning chores usually consist of making beds and getting rooms ready for the day and folding laundry or sweeping the kitchen. 

8:00 Brings breakfast time and after breakfast they finish up any uncompleted chores or play quietly.  During this time I start a load of laundry and empty the dishwasher, and start supper if it needs to go in the crockpot.

By 9:00 we are ready to start school and everyone is called to come.  We begin with the pledge and if anyone is slow coming they start moving quickly when they hear us saying the pledge.  Then we pray.  Each day we have a specific topic/people that we pray for.  On Monday's we pray for our missionaries of the month.  We rotate through the other following categories: our country/government, our extended family, our direct family, those sitting next to you, anyone in particular that we know needs prayer, etc.  After prayer Kaomi will go to her room to play quietly.  Then I send Kent off to his room to work on something he do can by himself for the day, usually it is CIM science homework or copywork.  While Kent is doing that Katy learns her phonics lesson.  If Felicity is roaming I will either pick her up and hold her or try to give her something that will keep her busy for a few minutes.  Then I will get Katy started on her Fine Motor Skills. 

Between 9:30 and 10:00 I usually put Felicity in her bed, even if she isn't sleepy.  Then I don't usually get her back up until around 11:30.  She will play in her bed and take a nap most days.

While Katy is completing her work I will call Kaomi to me and we usually read a book together and then do a craft or find a coloring page that has something to do with what we read.  She usually gets to pick the book she wants me tho read to her.  Now that Kaomi has had "school" she will go play again.  Usually Katy will join her for a few minutes playing while I do Math or History with Kent.

When Kent is working on his math pages, Katy and I will read her history and work on her Bible Verse.  Then she has rhymes and motion which Kaomi usually joins us for.  Katy usually finishes up the rest of her school by 11 and can play quietly with Kaomi, color or read on her own.

We will finish up whatever Kent still has to complete and work on his Bible Lesson/Verse.  Kent usually finishes his morning work around 11:30.  (He likes to ask me if he can take a break, but he likes to look out the window and not do much during the first 1/2 hour or hour of school, so he already had his break.)

We eat lunch around 12:00 and then the kids all do a jurisdiction cleaning that doesn't usually take very long.  Then they get to play.  During their play I usually try to get the laundry in the dryer and clean-up anything else that needs it at that time.  Sometimes I join them in their play or read more books to Kaomi or play with Felicity.

We reconvene in the living room sometime between 1 and 1:30 for storytime.  Everyone participates in this.  If Felicity took a morning nap then I usually hold her in my lap while I read, otherwise I put her to bed for the afternoon.  We read Kent's assigned book for storytime to everyone and then do any activities that might go along with it.  After storytime I complete Kent's reading with him, while the girls have a few minutes to play quietly or pick up their room.

When Kent finishes his reading he is usually done for the day, unless he was assigned something to complete at quiet time.  Quiet time begins at 2 pm and lasts until 4 for everyone in the house.

Then I begin any supper preparations I may need to do and the kids get a snack.

I'm not sure how well this explains what we do, you might just have to be present to see it.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Great Helpers

This morning we had a showing for our home.  I had about an hour before we needed to be walking out the door.  I delegated the girls to help get the house in order before we left, Kent wasn't here.  Kaomi, helped by picking up toys in her room while Katy finished her Handwriting.  Then Kaomi picked up Felicity's toys off the living room floor and Katy folded Felicity's blanket and straightened the pillows on the couch.  Both girls helped clean up everything in Kent's room and put it wherever they thought it belonged.  I quick cleaned the Master Bath, Master Bedroom and Kids Bathroom.  Katy swept the kitchen floor and the kids Bathroom.  Kaomi cleaned a few more things off her floor and put some books on the shelf.  I dust mopped the living room and grabbed Katy's schoolwork and put it in a bag to take with us.  While the girls put on their shoes I cleared off the kitchen counter (dishes that need to be hand-washed and on my schedule to do) some went under the sink and the pans went in the microwave ( I hope they didn't look in there:)  Then I quickly cleared off the kitchen table with the girls help and put on a new table cloth, set a big bowl of fruit in the middle and the crayon tower in front of Katy's place where I put her handwriting papers back on the table.  Loaded the girls and Felicity in the car with our school work and diaper bag.  Then I ran back inside and did a quick walk through and re-straighten, looked around the front of the house for any trash that had blown around and we left.  All this in AN HOUR.  WOW!  Thanks, Katy (5) and Kaomi (3) you did a great job.  I thought the house looked great, hopefully everyone else did, too.  Then we headed for the library, only for me to remember that the Library is closed on Thursdays, the girls didn't want to go to WalMart so we ended up at Chick-fil-a where I had a milkshake while the girls played on the playground, and wished there were some other kids to play with.  Then we picked up Kent from Science class and returned home, to have lunch and finish up school.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's Finally Time

We put our home up for sale last week.  We've been feeling the crunch of people in our home.  We hadn't originally planed on staying here forever, but I will be sad to see it go.  I like our little house.  We are also excited about signing the papers tonight to get our new home built with an estimated move-in sometime in May.  Hopefully our current home will sell in a reasonable amount of time and our new home will have fine "sailing" for the building process.  We really want to be in it before the new baby comes sometime in June.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Return to School

We started back to school today.  We've had about a total of 5 weeks off in the last 2 months and now it is time to get back to our routine.  It was a nice break, I enjoyed being able to do lots of stuff in December without worrying whether or not school was going to get done.  I was ready to have the kids start school again, just to decrease the playing, screaming, constant noise that goes on with four young kids in a small home.  Our day went very smoothly and were done with everything before 2 pm and we even took a trip to the library to return all our books which were due today.  I think all the kids were ready to go back to school today, too.  Kaomi was excited to have "school" with me and she was having trouble waiting her turn, but finally it was her turn and she chose an old kids magazine to look at with me.  Felicity had quiet time in her bed when I tired from keeping her contained and then she took a little nap and woke up just before lunch time, ready to sit in her chair and eat.

Then I proceeded to make Homemade Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels they sounded good, they are rising now and I will soon start shaping them.  I hope they are as good as they sound.