Thursday, September 27, 2007

Long Time, No Blog

Where in the world have I been? Obviously everywhere but here!

We have been staying so very busy, with two boys playing football that causes us to be gone 4-5 evenings a week (but the regular season is almost over, thank goodness). The kids have also started Christmas play practice at church, with Baby Girl having the lead role and this year, guess who gets the lead adult role? Yep, you guessed it. Me! I volunteered out of a bit of selfish reasoning. You see, I was doing pretty good losing some extra pounds and I thought having a role in the play would keep me motivated to keep losing. (Isn't that a terrible reason? Blush.) But, I gave up on the very strict diet I was following, even though I dropped 14 pounds in 8 days. Sigh... So, now I've got this big ole role to go along with my big ole be-hind! Oh well. Maybe I'll still get some pounds off by doing what the Lord told me to do years ago. The one and only thing that has ever worked for me. Weight Watchers.

Sweetie also helps coach high school football, so this time of year our lives revolve around the beloved sport. Sweetie's at practice every afternoon and we are at games nearly every Friday night.

Add in trying to homeschool, keep a half-way decent home (which isn't even HALF WAY decent right now), help Sweetie with his business, and church duties and responsibilities, well, we just don't seem to have enough time to even enjoy our favorite season of the year! Happy sigh... don't you just love fall?

Anyway, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth... yet. Hopefully I'll be able to get back to blogging regularly soon. I have to! I have pictures to share!! Don't you just love looking at other bloggers pictures?

Oh, and we also had a dear friend from church die this past Monday. She was only 42 and leaves behind her loving husband, a 17 year old son and a 15 year old daughter. Please say a prayer for them, they are hurting so much. Lisa left no doubt where her heart was and we know she is now in the arms of Jesus, completely healed and praising her Lord and Saviour. Yet, those of us left behind are brokenhearted at losing her.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

You Do Whatcha Gotta Do

We are a 6-member family in a very small home, less than 1200 square feet. So, as with many other things in life, sometimes you just have to find the best way to make things work.

Since we school at our kitchen counter, I really needed to have all our curriculum close. So here's my solution...

I rearranged our kitchen cupboards and now have everything we need each day right at my fingertips. Notice all the Five In A Row things!

Here's another shot of my school cabinet. Last spring I was getting frustrated at needing a place to leave some things up that the kids needed to see each day, but when you school in a small kitchen you don't have many options. My solution was to tape up those things on the inside of the cabinet door! I can open it for the kids during school (it's facing directly at where they sit) and it's closed and out of the way the rest of the time. What is it they say? Neccessity is the mother of invention?

And for those of you who use Math U See, here's our Decimal Street! Yes, it used up a lot of ink, but it is SO much better than my pitiful drawing we were using before...LOL.

My Lesson Plan Book

For years I tried and tried to find a lesson plan book that worked for us, and while some had things I wanted, most contained things I had no need of (desk arrangement, substitute teacher info., etc.). So, after frustration and disappointment I decided to sit down at the computer and see what I could come up with on my own. The result was the best lesson plan pages I've ever used and ones that work perfectly for me.

I like to have plenty of room to write, so I made each week a two page spread. The subjects go down the far left side, the days of the week go across the top. At the top of the left-hand page I have a line to write what week it is (ex. Sept. 3-7) and another line to write which FIAR and Beyond FIAR books we are working on that week.

I have the kid's names typed in the boxes for subjects they do so all I have to do is write their particular assignments out from their name. As we finish each thing throughout the day I simply put checkmarks with a red pen beside them. That way I can see at a glance how much we've done and how much we have left to do.

On the far right-hand side I have lines to write down what we did that week. This is a way for me to record those little extras that we do, plus it's so neat to go back and read and remember all the things we've done.

Free Seasonal Delights Magazine Subscription

Go here and get your own free subscription of Seasonal Delights magazine. I've already signed up for mine!

Seasonal Delights is a quarterly magazine. It is primarily designed for young ladies and their mothers, but can be enjoyed by anyone who loves celebrating the joys of each passing season.

Monday, September 3, 2007

The Blessing of Cousins

One thing I never had growing up was a bunch of cousins to play with. Oh, I had some, but we didn't live close enough to get together very often. I also only have one half-brother that didn't live with me, so I was a bit on the lonely side.

Because of that, I LOVE LOVE LOVE that our kids have so many cousins that live right here in the same town we do. We all attend the same church, we have lots of birthday and holiday get-togethers, and we all go to Friday night football games to cheer for the second-oldest cousin of the bunch (who's 16).

Here are a couple pictures from this very proud aunt! There are 15 cousins all together, ages 27, 16, 11, 8, 8, 7, 7, 7, 6, 5, 5, 4, 4, 4, and 2, so as you can see, a few are missing from each picture. And we just had the first 2nd cousin born into the family in August! I'll add a picture of him too.

This first picture is from June when one of the cousins wanted to go fishing for his birthday. Aren't they all just so cute!

This is from last Friday's football game. I'm sure you can imagine, not much of the game got watched by us mommies between potty trips, concession stand trips, and all the "sit down before you fall" reprimands! LOL!

And here's the newest little guy added to the bunch. Oh how spoiled he's going to be!

Big Helper

What a good big brother!

Learning About Explorers

We have started using 'Time Travelers' history study series this year and we are all really enjoying it. Here are a few pictures of our early lessons...

Daddy is helping us learn how to tie different knots. I love how Reece Cup is looking up at him.

And these were the reactions by Handsome, Princess, and Reece Cup when they tried being 'limeys' and drinking straight lime juice, freshly squeezed with no sugar, like early explorers used to help combat scurvy.

Learning To Sew!

Baby Girl is learning how to sew a 9-patch for a quilt in her Keepers At Home group at church and I am learning right along with her. We are both loving it! Now maybe I can finally get those Five In A Row quilts made that I've been putting off for about 5 years!