Saturday, March 30, 2013

In School This Week...

Monday:  We began with The Pledge of Allegiance and Bible.  We listened to the first two chapters of Genesis and a song about our creator.  Kent and Katy completed their piano practice.  Kent needed to work on his reading project, he also completed a English lesson and worked on Bible reading.  Katy practiced cursive, finished her division lapbook, and worked on Bible reading.  For Bible reading Kent and Katy were to choose one of the Gospels to work on reading through this week.  Kent chose to read Luke and Katy chose to read Matthew.  If they finish the book before the week is over then they can choose any other book in the Bible that they want to read.  Kaomi worked on Bible reading with me.  We used The Beginner's Bible which is a Bible storybook, and she read many words of the first 2 chapters.  I read the words she didn't know or hasn't learned yet.  She was excited about reading the stories, The Beginning and Adam and Eve.  We went to the library for storytime.  After Lunch, we listened to excerpts from Genesis 3 and 4.  The audio drama Bible we are listening to is called Kidz Bible.

Tuesday:  We began with The Pledge of Allegiance  and listened to more of the audio drama Bible.  We watched a DVD about Harriet Tubman for history.  Then everyone worked on their Bible Reading.  Kent and Katy worked on Math, English and piano practice.  Katy worked on cursive.  Kent worked on completing his reading project reflection form.  Kaomi practiced math addition, reading and listened to The Adventures of Chatterer the Red Squirrel.  During lunch we listened to more of the audio Bible.  We also worked on science and talked about how we can tell the weather from the way the sky looks.  We had storytime and everyone practice narrating the chapter that we read in The Great Horn Spoon.

Wednesday:  We began with The Pledge of Allegiance and listened to the audio Bible.  Kent, Katy, and Kaomi worked on their individual Bible reading.  Katy practiced the piano and Kent helped with Clark, while I Kaomi worked on math.  Katy completed English and the helped watch Clark so Kent could work on English and math.  Kent began reading Freedom Train as extra history reading.  Katy corrected cursive.  She's been really sloppy with her letters lately and isn't happy that I keep making her redo parts of the last couple pages, which weren't being done her best.  During Lunch we listened to more of the Bible.  We read history and science.  Everyone got a picture of an old mill to color for science and Kent and Katy were assigned the a notebooking page for history about the Civil War.  Kent practiced the piano and I worked with Katy on math.  She started learning about money and how to add it up.  I also read several stories to Felicity and Clark and wrote the titles on the reading cocoon.  Kaomi asked me to read her The Adventures of Chatterer the Red Squirrel, while we were waiting for supper to cook in the oven.

Thursday: This morning we had an errand to run, so we didn't really started any school until we returned home.  Kent and Katy practiced the piano.  We listened to the Audio Drama Bible after lunch.  We had science and storytime together.  Kent and Katy worked on their individual work in the afternoon, mostly during quiet time.  Kaomi worked on reading one of the Bible Stories in The Beginner's Bible.

Friday:  Everyone did Bible reading.  Katy had a piano lesson.  Kent and Katy did math and English.  Kaomi worked on math and handwriting.  Katy had cursive and copywork.  Kent worked on his extended history reading and piano practice.  We had storytime, history and listening to the audio Bible together.  Felicity listened to stories and worked on a puzzle.

Quinn - 2 months

Wow!  Quinn is already 2 months old.  He has changed so much from when he was first born.  This week at his 2 month appointment he weighed 12 pounds and was 23 3/4 inches long.  He's in the 53rd percentile for his weight.  I don't think any of our kids have ever been in the 53rd percentile for weight.  I wonder if he'll stay there or fall off the curve and be in the lower percentiles like everyone else has been.  He is smiling and cooing.  He will just lay in his bed sometimes kicking and making cute baby sounds without demanding attention from someone to hold him or feed him.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Week Before Easter Challenge

Last year I took this challenge.  I was blessed by it, so this year I will be doing it again.

I'm going to be sacrificing some of my "free" time to spending more time in the Word of God.  Jesus gave us the ultimate sacrifice by dying for me to pay for my sins and to show appreciation I'll be working to hide some of God's Word in my heart via memorization and through reading my Bible get to know my God and Savoir better.  I will also be intentionally spending more time in prayer.  I usually spend 15-30 minutes most days in the Word, so my goal is to spend 2 or more hours building my personal relationship with God.  I'm also going to be encouraging my kids to read their Bibles more, listen to Bible Stories and pray more this week, too.

Would you like to join me in this challenge?  Think of what you could learn from the word if you cut out 1 regularly watched TV show, listened to the Bible on CD instead of your radio while driving, not pick up a book you are currently reading or planning on reading, read your Bible during part of your lunch break, or got off the internet for 1-2 hours a day. 

My plan:
I'm currently reading Numbers, so I will continue through that book off the Bible before choosing another book, I'm planning on praying for our missionary of the week and the people who have needs in our Sunday School class as well as for my family members, and I am going to begin memorizing a passage from 1 Thessalonians.

Thinking of taking this challenge?  Tell me where you would like to start reading.

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

In School This Week...

Monday:  Felicity and Clark listened to several stories.  Lissie had a matching worksheet that went along with some of the foods that the very hungry caterpillar ate.  We added onto our reading caterpillar as well.  Kaomi completed reading.  She began learning about silent e and how it makes a have a long vowel sound when added to 3 letter words.  She also worked on math, began learning a poem/song, completed a color by number picture and listened to The Adventures of Chatterer the Red Squirrel.  Katy practiced the piano, made corrections from last week, worked on her division lap book, and completed English and cursive.  Kent practiced the piano, made corrections from last week, and completed English and reading.  We also went to the library to get new books.

Tuesday: Kent and Katy practiced the piano.  Kaomi practiced reading and making three letter short a vowel words into long a vowel words with a silent e.  Felicity and Clark listened to The Very Hungry Caterpillar, some stories about bubbles, and a few other stories.  They made a bead caterpillar to show how eating causes the caterpillar to grow.  After lunch we went outside and I tried to blow bubbles for everyone to catch.  The bubbles didn't work very well.  It was a little windy, so we will have to try again another day.  We had storytime, science, history and Bible verse memory work all together.  Kent and Katy had copywork that went along with Bible and science notebooking about how to catch a fish with your bare hands.  Kent also completed English.  Katy also worked on her division lapbook, and completed English and cursive.

Wednesday:  We started with the pledge and our Missionary story of the week.  Then we worked Proverbs 8:10-11 that we started learning yesterday.  Kent and Katy both impressed me by remembering the whole thing and Kaomi did well remembering most of it with minimal prompting.  Then Kent practiced the piano while Katy was on Clarky duty.  When Kent finished he took over for Katy so she could practice her piano lesson.  Then Kent and Katy worked on their individual work.  Kaomi worked on reading more.  She seems to be enjoying it, which I am glad for.  I read to Felicity and Clark.  All together we had storytime and science.  I forgot that we were supposed to read history, too.  I guess we will do that tomorrow.  I worked with Katy on her division lap book.  It's getting harder.  Today she was dividing by 5's, 6's, and 7's.  I tried to work with Kent on English, but he had a bad attitude which I was in no mood to listen to, so I sent him to bed.  He's learning about describing things orally.  In real life he does oral descriptions very well, sometimes to the point of giving so much description that we don't have a clue what he is talking about by the time he gets to his point.  Katy is one of my kitchen helpers today.  She got to help make gluten free dinner rolls to go with our supper.

Thursday:  Felicity and Clark watched a DVD of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Stories.  Then they colored a picture of the Very Hungry Caterpillar.  We also read several books.  Kent and Katy both practiced the piano.  We reviewed our memory verse, had storytime, and read history about the California Gold Rush.  Kent and Katy worked on a notebooking page for history and Kaomi colored a picture of a covered wagon going to California.  Kaomi worked on reading short words that have the long vowel e in them.  Katy worked on her division lapbook, English, cursive, her reading project and corrections from Wednesday.  Kent worked on math bar graphs, English, his reading project and corrections from Wednesday.

Friday:  This morning Katy worked on her division lapbook.  I read several stories to Felicity and Clark.  Their reading caterpillar went into a cocoon.  Kent did his piano practice and worked on corrections and all his lessons that he didn't need to do with me.  After lunch, we did science and storytime together.  Then Kent and Katy worked on science notebooking and finished their individual work for the day.  I read The Adventures of Chatterer the Red Squirrel to Kaomi.
Felicity with the Reading Caterpillar
Reading Caterpillar Cocoon

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mommy's Day Off

Jeff kindly asked me if I would like to attend an event with him.  He would arrange for someone to watch the kids if I wanted to go.  After a few days of considering attending the event and thinking that I'd like to go just to get out, but wasn't really interested in the actual event I asked him if he would still arrange for someone to watch the kids and I could stay home with Quinn.

So, Saturday, on my day off I ate my breakfast and lunch, loaded and ran the dishwasher, talked to my mom on the phone, fed Quinn several times, and sewed.  I knew that I wanted to sew and had a plan to make a skirt for one of the girls, but hadn't looked to see what fabric I would use.  I found some pink fabric that I had a little bit leftover after some previous projects.  It was just enough for a skirt for Lissie.  I had enough time to finish the skirt before everyone came home.

Thanks Jeff for providing a day off for me.

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Raising Arrows      

Saturday, March 16, 2013

In School This Week...

Monday:  We had a lesson from Quinn about crying, all day long.  We went to the library for storytime and to pick out new books.  Katy had a piano lesson.

Tuesday:  Katy practiced the piano.  Kaomi practiced writing words with pl and fl.  We read history and Kent and Katy completed a notebooking page.  We did a science experiment making a "canvas" bucket to hold water like a pioneer peddler might have used to water his horse and carry any water he needed.  Ours came unfolded and leaked out the corner, but when we put a little less water in it it stayed together.  I'm thinking the peddler probably quick stitched his canvas where we used duct tape.  Katy worked on copywork and corrected math and cursive.  Kent corrected his math, too.  Kent, Katy and Kaomi went outside to make and fly paper airplanes and toss a football around with our neighbor who is on spring break this week and was tired of being home all day.  Kent "helped" Jeff fix the fence in the backyard.

"canvas" water bucket

Wednesday: We did Bible altogether.  Kaomi did a reading review, began her new math book with addition, and finished The Adventures of Grandfather Frog.  Kent completed English, Math and Piano practice.  Katy completed English, finished her science paper about yesterday's experiment, and practiced writing some words in cursive.  Felicity and Clark listened to a few stories and Felicity started making a caterpillar on our wall that is made up of books we have read.  We will continue to add to the caterpillar.

Thursday: Kent had a piano lesson.  He also completed reading, copywork, English, and math.  Felicity and Clark listened to stories and painted egg carton caterpillars to go along with The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Katy made some corrections, finished her reading book, practiced the piano, worked on a division lapbook, and completed copywork.  Kaomi worked on handwriting, math, and a color by dot.  In her reading she began learning 3 letter consonant blends.

Friday:  Katy worked on her division lapbook, practiced the piano, completed English and cursive and began a project for reading.  Kent worked on math, practiced the piano, completed copywork, English, and reading.  We did science reading altogether.  Felicity and Clark had storytime and Felicity colored a butterfly with markers.  Kaomi completed reading, handwriting, and math.  We also began the Adventures of Chatterer the Red Squirrel for her storytime.

Even though we were playing catch up all week, we had a pretty good week of school.  We started everyday in the late morning and worked through the afternoon. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Felicity's Songs

Felicity loves to sing songs.  She knows the whole chorus of Shout to the North and sings it over and over very loudly.  In some songs she gets a few words mixed up.  That's one of the things about three year olds that is fun.  When singing Old McDonald, she sings, "Old McNoah" or "Uncle Donna" had a farm.  This morning she was singing Away in a Manger and she sang "til night is morning" instead of til morning is nigh.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Pictures With a Firefighter

Yesterday, when we were shopping at Kroger, they were using the local fire department as a promotion by offering free pictures with a firefighter.  Lissie didn't want to stand there by herself so I told her I'd hold her for the picture.

When Kent handed the helmet back to the firefighter he wrinkled up his nose and said, "It smells like smoke."  The firefighter replied, "That's because it's been in a fire."


Saturday, March 9, 2013

In School This Week...

Monday:  We got caught up on the math that we got behind on last week.  Now we just have to stay on top of it for the rest of the week.  Kent and Katy practiced the piano.  We started a new book from the humor genre for storytime - The Great Horn Spoon.  Kent spent most of the morning "trying" to figure out the answer to some oral questions for English, but he quickly completed all his other stuff after lunch.  He cost us our trip to the library :(  Kaomi practiced reading more words with th.

Tuesday:  This morning Katy said her tummy hurt so she went back to bed for a nap and to hopefully feel better.  She felt better in the afternoon so she did a English lesson.  Kent worked through his math and English quickly and played cars with Clark.  He also practiced the piano.  Kaomi worked more on reading words that end with th and completed her current math book.  She's excited to get to start a new math book.  She also worked on a coloring page where she had to color the picture with matching colors to shapes.  It is like a color by number.  We have a book with several of these that she enjoys doing so we use it for school as practice following directions and coloring neatly.

Wednesday:  We started with praying for our missionary of the week who is in China.  Then we moved on to reading Chapter 3 in Seed Sowers.  It was about Miss Dorothy in Peru.  We decided to do more research about ocelots, because there was one in our story.  We looked at pictures and read facts.  Then each of the kids colored a picture of an ocelot and Kent and Katy added 3 facts that they remembered to their picture.  We also looked at our world map to see where ocelots live.  So I guess we easily had science and geography as well as Bible.  Then we had some friends come over to play.  After lunch Kent and Katy each practiced reading a chapter of Kaomi's storytime book The Adventures of Grandfather Frog.

Thursday:  Kent and Katy worked diligently on their independent work and piano practice.  Katy needed to practice division with me, which we didn't get to.  Kaomi practiced her handwriting.  I had a chiropractic appointment before lunch, so it was time for quiet time just after we finished eating.

Friday:  Kent and Katy practiced the piano.  Kent completed English and I told him what he needed to do for math.  Katy and I worked on practicing division and then she went to make corrections for her math lesson from earlier this week.  Kaomi completed reading.  Clark, Felicity and I worked on cleaning their room, which we were able to finish after lunch.  Felicity helped me make pumpkin muffins for our afternoon snack.  We had storytime after Felicity and Clark went down for their nap time.

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Reading to My Kids

This month and next I am trying to focus more on reading to my kids.  In particular I want to read more to Lissie and Clark.  I spent a lot of time reading books to Kent, Katy and Kaomi when they were little.  I recently realized that I haven't been reading as much to my youngest children and even though they often join us for storytime, the books aren't on their level.  I know they would love to have Mommy read more picture books that they can really relate with and enjoy.  There are so many times Lissie has asked me to read her a book and I "have" to go do something.  I'm going to try making sure I take the time for her and to read that book, even if I have to do it at a different time in the same day.  Last night while I was waiting for supper to finish heating I picked up Clark to sit in my lap and grabbed a couple of board books to look at with him.  The next thing I know, Lissie was snuggled up against me, Kaomi was sitting on the arm of the loveseat next to me and Kent and Katy were both crowding around the front of me all listening and looking at the board books.  When I finished the books I had picked up, somebody handed me a few more and I read those.  Before I knew it 20 minutes had passed and supper was ready.

Do you read to your kids?  What is one of your favorite children's books?

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Saturday, March 2, 2013

In School This Week...

This week we had a more relaxed week and I didn't record much of what we did, but I did take a picture of Kent measuring milliliters for math on Monday.  On Thursday Kent, Katy and Kaomi spent most of the day painting vehicles for the Christian Service Brigade Shape 'n Race.

Clark also found that it is fun to wear Lissie's dress up shoes because they click on the floor when he walks.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Maple Syrup Season

No, here in Texas we are not making maple syrup, but in the Northeast where I grew up the season is beginning.  So I thought I would share a memory of making maple syrup with my family when I was a little girl.


     When I was a little girl one of the highlights of the winter was when the sun started to shine and it started to warm up a little bit during the day.  This meant that it was time to get out all the taps and buckets for the sugar maple trees.  We would get everything out and wash it all up so we would be ready to start.  Dad would take his hand drill and hammer and go out and drill the holes in the tree and hammer a tap into the tree.  Then we would hang a one gallon bucket over the tap and the tube attached to the tap would fit through a slit in the lid of the bucket and the sap could begin to be collected.  I remember waiting as Dad would drill the hole and the joy I would feel when the tap was hammered in if the sap started dripping out right away, because I would let the sweet sap drip into my mouth before the bucket was hung on it.  
     The buckets would begin to fill up with sap and we would go around everyday in the evening and sometimes twice a day on a weekend if the sap was flowing fast to collect the sap.  We would dump the sap from the bucket on the tree into a five gallon pails and bring them back to the garage.  I remember being too little to carry a full 5 gallon pail of sap, so I would only carry partially filled pails or I would fill the pails and my older brother or one of my parents would carry them back to the garage.  I remember the year that I was able to carry the full five gallon pails all by myself.  I probably had some wet pants on occasion from the sap sloshing over the top.  Of course the snow could be deep and hindering walking or it could be icy and hard to carry the buckets as well. 
     At the garage we would dump the 5 gallon pails of sap into our collecting containers which were large plastic trash cans and we would make sure to put the lid on tight so that dirt didn't get into the sap.  The trash cans were only used for holding maple sap and during the off season they would hold the supplies for the next year.  When we had collected several trash cans full of sap we would have enough to start boiling it down.  If the weather was cold enough to freeze the water in the sap buckets we would break the ice and dip out the sugar water from the middle of it.  The ice contained little to none of the sugar needed to make the syrup so we would take the ice outside and leave it in a pile by the door of the garage.
     To begin boiling the sap down to make maple syrup Dad and Mom would pour the sap into a very large pan that would sit on top of an old upside down cast iron bathtub which had been turned into to a stove of sorts.  The maple syrup stove was stored to the side of the garage and moved to the middle by the doors where a metal stove pipe was attached to let the smoke escape up by the roof.  When the pan on top of the stove was full of sap Dad would start a fire in the stove and then the fire would burn for a few days before the maple syrup was ready.  We had a metal tent that went on top of the pan which helped keep the heat in, therefore helping the sap to boil down a little faster.  As the sap boiled down more sap would be poured into the pan.  The fire had to be tended every couple of hours to keep the sap boiling, even during the night.  I never had to take a night shift to tend the fire, but I do remember tending it a couple of times during the day.  It was very hot and I had to be very careful not to touch any part of the stove when I was putting more wood on the fire.

Dad making syrup in the garage.

Dad stirring the sap that was boiling down.

     As the sap boiled it would get a foam on it that we would skim off and throw outside on the ground.  This foam contained dirt and bugs that may have gotten in the sap or fallen into the pan on top of the stove.  The sap would begin to reduce and get thicker and sweeter.  After a few days of boiling the sap down it would soon be thick enough to be watched constantly because it was almost ready.  I remember Mom bustling around the kitchen getting jars ready and pots on the stove to be ready for the syrup when it was brought into the house.  As soon as the syrup was ready, Dad would put a filter in an old metal milk can and he and Mom would pick up the pan and pour the syrup over the corner through the filter.  Dad had a spigot added to the pan one year and that made pouring the syrup off a little easier.  When the milk can contained all the syrup the pan was set outside in the snow.  I remember running to get a spoon once the pan was set in the snow.  I would use the spoon to scrape up the syrup from the pan as it started to harden slightly.  It was so good that burning my mouth with hot, sticky goodness was worth it.  Meanwhile Dad and Mom would have carried the heavy milk can into the house.
     When the syrup was brought into the house it was checked to make sure it was thick enough or dark enough.  If Mom didn't think it was quite done it would be poured into a large stock pot and boiled a little longer.  If it was ready it was poured into the stock pot and brought back to a boil and then poured into quart jars and sealed.  One batch would make about 2 1/2 gallons of syrup.  The jars would then sit on the counter for a day or two so we could make sure they had sealed before they were taken to the cellar for storage.
     Back outside the pan that was sitting in the snow was washed and set back on top of the stove.  Then it was refilled and the process was started all over again.  Sometimes if it was late in the evening when the syrup finished we would wait until morning to start the next batch so Dad and Mom could get a good night's sleep.  After all our syrup was made for the year Dad would pull out all the taps, we would gather up all the buckets and wash everything that we used to make syrup before it was stored away until the next year.

*The pictures were taken sometime between 1988 and 1991.


My parent's don't make maple syrup anymore, they stopped many years ago when I was younger.  Over the last two years I've been ordering my maple syrup from Mount Mansfield Maple Products in Vermont.  I used to buy it at the grocery store, but I could only get small bottles that were very expensive and didn't taste like the syrup I had eaten when I was a child.  When I looked for a supplier to purchase maple syrup in larger quantities I found this family owned and operated business in Vermont and tried out their products.  The first taste I had of the Grade A Dark Maple Syrup I bought from them brought back memories of the syrup that I had growing up.

*This is a product I've used and liked.  I have not been asked to write a review for them.

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