Monday, November 29, 2010

The things they say.

I have to write these down or I'll forget them.

Monk (11), surprised, as I hand him a cup of peppermint tea:  "Oh, is peppermint a leaf?"  He thought it was a candy.

Monk (11) to me:  "If only you were as good at sewing as you are at math!" (I've been trying to make him a pair of pajama pants for a few days.  Let's just say it's not going well.  I'd much rather be doing Algebra, or Calculus for that matter.)

Prince (4) as we were running from our car to the gym:  "Run like the windmill Bullseye!" 

Queen (2) asked for another cookie at Nana's house and I asked her what was the magic word:  "God."

Queen (2) when I asked her what she was doing in our bathroom in the middle of the night (Daddy just installed a new night light):  "I hidin."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

3 more no-sew fleece blankets and instructions

My friend Debbie taught me how to do these.  They are super simple, fun for kids to work on (my 7, 9, and 11 yr olds were a big help), and so warm and cozy.  The only problem is my kids have unanimously decided to sleep on top of their bedspreads now using their new fleece blankets to stay warm.  This way all they have to do in the morning is fold their fleece blankets at the bottom of their beds.  Is this cheating?

Here are the step by step instructions.

1.  Buy 2 yards of fleece for the front of the blanket and 2 yards for the back.
2.  Wash the fleece.
3.  Lay the two pieces of fleece on top of one another lining up the corners and trimming off any overlap.
4.  Make a paper template 4 inches by 4 inches.
5.  Use the template to cut a 4 inch by 4 inch square out of each corner.
6.  Using the squares as your guide, cut a slit every inch (4 inches long, even with the square).  This is your fringe.
7.  Tie every other top piece of fringe with its corresponding bottom piece.  (You'll be leaving every other one untied for now.)
8.  Flip the blanket and tie the pieces of fringe left untied before.  That's it.

Give it a try.  If I can do it, anyone can do it!

Friday, November 26, 2010

No-sew fleece blankets

I've shared with you about how UNcrafty I am, but look at this!  My friend Debbie from A Journey in Motherhood encouraged me to try making these no-sew fleece blankets and gave me specific instructions that she said I couldn't mess up.  Well, we made a few goofs here and there, but the kids are thrilled with their new blankets.  (They were going to be Christmas presents, but I decided I couldn't make 6 of these on my own!  Instead I enlisted the kids' help and they became a fun family project.)

Twinkle Toes (9) and Measle (7) worked hard on their little brother's Toy Story blanket.

Measle happily poses with her new blanket.

And Calvin is just looking cute, as usual.

Now, 2 blankets down 4 to go!  Thanks, Debbie!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Character-filled Thanksgiving

We began working on our thankful tree first thing this morning. 

The two that were the most interested in working on the thankful tree this year were Measle (7) and Queen (2). 

Monk (11) and Twinkle Toes (9) helped cut out the more difficult leaves, though, and also wrote what they're most thankful for this year.

Most of the leaves contain the names of family members, especially Calvin our newest blessing that we're all so grateful for.  But, I found one leaf particularly interesting. 

Isn't that the sweetest?  Monk is grateful for his education.  And he spelled it right!  I'm thankful for that!

My mother-in-law hosted Thanksgiving for us this year and we had a wonderful meal.

Nana brought some yummy food, too.

Here's Monk with his Grandfather, my dad.

I kept trying to get Queen to give her baby the bottle, but she insisted "no, it's my bottle."  A moment later she was stomping on baby's head.  Note to self:  never leave Baby Calvin alone in a room with his big sister!

We all missed my husband's dad, but still have so many things to be thankful for this year.  Big D read George Washington's Thanksgiving Day proclamation from 1789.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to “recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness. Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.—George Washington

Imagine being governed by men devoted to the service of God!  Incredible!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Decisions, decisions.

I'm a terrible photographer, but I have great looking kids.  The two kind of cancel each other out and I always end up with a few pictures that are decent.  I won't tell you which ones I decided on for our Christmas cards.  Yes, that's right, I already ordered our Christmas cards- a new record for me.  My incentive to get it done early this year was Shutterfly's 30% off sale plus free shipping that ended yesterday. 

Normally I spend an insane amount of money on formal holiday wear for the kids.  Not this year!  They usually only wear their Christmas dresses and sweaters 3 or 4 times, so I decided we'd do something different this year.  I love these shirts that tell the kids' ages!  I've been collecting them for a couple of years now so each year I only have to add one or two t-shirts.  And in keeping with our casual theme we decided to try for a good picture in our own backyard.

Cute kids, huh?

Schoolroom addition

More books means more bookshelves, so our
schoolroom has been rearranged again.  We're working on building a home library and my parents helped us out with their recent gift of the R.M. Ballantyne 19th century historical fiction series.  Then they helped us out again with an early Christmas gift of a new bookshelf for our schoolroom.  Thanks Mom and Dad.  Here's what our new and improved schoolroom looks like.

See the new bookcase? 

It's pretty full already.  I'm a little concerned about next year!

My aunt gave us this set of Enclyopedia Brittanica a few years ago,
but it's much more accessible here in our schoolroom.

The new computer station and schoolroom storage unit have switched places. 

Do you see those spaces?  I love that!  Now we have a biography shelf (top left)!
Sonlight Core 3+4 still takes up the lower two shelves on the left.

Oh- and I've created a new listening station!

I'm keeping our audiobooks and other listening material right here where we do our "read-alouds".

What do you think?  How do you keep up with your ever-increasing demand for book storage? 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Where are we?! I've lost track.

Week 13?  14?  15?  I have no idea.  I've thrown my IG out the window.  All the planning was in vain.  Monk is in module 6 of his Apologia General Science, but come on, plaster of paris?  No, I don't have that laying around the house.  I told him to skip that experiment.  Limestone?  Nope, I don't have that either.  Skip that one, too.  The kids are doubling up on their reading efforts this week so they can take a couple of days off next week.  I think we're ok there.  I've been reading Moccasin Trail aloud to them with MANY interruptions... except for when we read at 9:30 pm, but I'd really rather be taking my bath then.  We're on schedule with math, naturally since there isn't a schedule.  Fortunately our big shipment of audio books arrived today and after we get through Moccassin Trail we'll be set until the last couple of weeks of the year.

ARTistic Pursuits has gone by the wayside.  The kids have been very busy with their music.  They're preparing to play Away in a Manger together (Monk and Twinkle Toes on piano and Measle on the violin) next month so they've been doing a lot of practicing lately.  Grammar Ace has gone from being something we did together to individual work.  The kids are probably ahead by now in Wordly Wise, but I haven't checked.  I can't imagine what's been distracting me!

Deer in headlights comes to mind.

Maybe I should back up with the flash.

He's getting so big!

We're still working on smiling on demand.
Maybe we're right on schedule, after all.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Deliverance through adoption

God delivered His chosen people, Israel, through adoption when He used Moses to lead them out of Egypt and through the wilderness to the Promised Land.

God delivered His people again through adoption when He placed Esther into the home of the wise and godly Mordecai and then when it was time brought her into the king of Persia's palace as queen so she could give him wise counsel leading to the preservation of Israel.

Through the adoption of Rahab and Ruth into His people, Israel, God brought the Messiah who in turn purchased deliverance for the world.

And God delivers each and every one of His elect from the kingdom of darkness and bondage to sin when He adopts us as His children and regenerates our hearts so we can follow Him.

God uses adoption to bring deliverance.  It is a manifestation of His grace.  He changes lives and even the course of nations through adoption.

This month is national adoption awareness month.  If you are a child of God, adopted by Him into His family, please prayerfully consider whether God will use you to bring deliverance to a lost and helpless child through adoption.  It's one thing to care for the physical needs of a child, to clothe and feed him, but quite another to feed him the gospel which offers spiritual life.  God uses adoption.  The question is, will He use you.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Adapted homeschool: Plugging in

Normally I try to keep my kids as unplugged as possible.  Since Baby Calvin's arrival, however, I've added 6 hrs of nursing and the new adventure of cloth diaper care to my daily schedule.  So in my quest to come up with ideas on how to continue productive homeschooling despite my being less available, I've tried thinking outside the box.  I shared with you about how well audiobooks are working for us right now.  They're a welcome substitute for my daily read-aloud time. 

I also purchased Time4Learning online homeschool curriculum for Measle (7), the child whose education seems to suffer the most when my supervision is lacking.  She still does her Saxon math, handwriting or copy work, Greek, Bible, spelling, and reading, but she usually finishes these subjects before lunch and then spends the rest of the school day at loose ends.  (And you know what happens when your 7 year old is at loose ends, don't you?)  Time4Learning has helped tied up her loose ends.  She loves it.  She spent about an hour on it the first day and completed 4 exercises, quizzes, and several worksheets in that time.  Is she learning anything?  I have no idea, but she's having a good time!  I have to get online and check her progress.  I'll get around to that eventually.  For now I'm just happy that she's happy... and busy!  And she still has plenty of time to make a mess , I mean play.  Twinkle Toes (9) is begging me to add her to our subscription.  It's $19.95/month for the first child and $14.95/month for subsequent children in the same family.

Any more adapted homeschool suggestions? 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Guess who's one month old?

I can't believe Calvin is already a month old!  He's such a joy and delight, truly the easiest baby ever. 

Serious, as usual.  Well, he is my child.
I thought he might say something.


Wondering why I'm taking so many pictures.
Trying to get that thumb.

Wish I could coax a smile out of him.


Maybe next time.

After the photo shoot, happy to get some rest.

Adapted homeschool: Snow day

I've been concerned about "catching up" in our homeschool after the birth of Calvin, but yesterday I did something I almost never do.  I gave the kids a snow day.  There was hot chocolate involved, a visit to both Nana's and Grandma's houses, and plenty of playtime, but it wasn't all fun and games.  The kids also shoveled Granny's sidewalk and driveway, Grandma's circle drive and walk, and Nana's sidewalk (we never did get around to doing ours). 

Some of the kids didn't work quite as hard as some of the others. 

This is my terrible attempt at showing our winter wonderland yesterday.  I snapped this picture as I passed by our house on our way from Granny's to Grandma's.

We finished off our adapted homeschool day by watching Amazing Grace, the story of William Wilberforce and the abolition of slavery in Great Britain.  Again, I made an uncharacteristic decision that we would watch the movie together instead of reading the biography about Wilberforce.  I don't have any regrets.  It was a great day!


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I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.