November 29 - December 3, 2010

Monday 11/29/2010
 Bit of a Scare...So, The Hub has been freaking me out with these strange new "developments" - shaking hands, weakened muscles, etc. Of course, he WON'T let me say anything to anyone. He is soooooo private (Isn't it funny that he should marry the woman who will share her life story with the checker at Wal-Mart?!).

After several months, I finally made him call the doctor this morning, and he got an appointment for today. Interrupted our plans, for sure, but I am extremely relieved to announce that The Doc does not think his tremors are linked to any underlying conditions.

Despite arranging last minute child care and rushing to the doctor...and preparing the house for a VERY important meeting, we managed to:

Read together and create felt Christmas ornaments (that Little Man cannot shatter all over my living room floor), which I counted as Art and Math (they traced and cut the templates...patterns, shapes, colors, sewing, fine motor development...all kinds of learning going on).

In the evening, a friend from church came over to present us some information about an African pastor and orphans our church sponsors. We sent the orphans a donation for Christmas, and today we ended up choosing an orphan and a widow to sponsor for $25 (each) a month. I gave the girls a credit in Bible and Social Studies.

The Sisters are really on the band-wagon to adopt a child. I told them to pray about it, and this is a start. Maybe one day??????? (The Hub even seems to be shifting his heart!)

5 credit day!

Tuesday 11/30/2010

It is always a stretch to get in everything we can on The Hub's last day off. (This chaotic schedule is really starting to make me crazy! It is so hard to decide when to work and when to rest, and I never feel like there is a balance.) We decided we HAD to prioritize, which meant #1: EVERYONE gets a bath. Admit've gone for several days, too. It's one of the perks of homeschooling, but there is a time for everything under the heavens, and ours was now!

With 5 people, that took the entire morning, after which we had to feed the kids. (The government looks down on those who don't). Then, we decided to squeeze in some errands before Little Man's nap (which actually took place in the car). We threw in a trip to the Goodwill to unload a growing pile of donations that had stacked up in our car. For me, that meant spending an extra half hour rearranging the kitchen and eliminating even more to Goodwill. (I am now much happier with my Little Man-friendly cabinets (the reachable ones are currently empty!)

Of course, we HAD to add in getting our Christmas tree, because WHO KNOWS when the opportunity would again present itself. We opted for the time- and budget-friendly Lowe's version, and it was the quickest evergreen purchase we've ever made. (Never mind the crooked tree stump, Dad...after all those years of being so picky we finally brought home a bad one, and guess what?! We managed.)

Since we were getting our tree, I HAD to stop at JoAnn's to get some felt for the adorable and EASY garland craft I found on The Purl Bee blog. (Didn't it turn out cute? Ours isn't nearly as perfect, but guess what? I still LOVE it!)

I gave the girls an ART credit for that, and another for drawing me some Christmas pictures to hang in the kitchen. I also read to them from a Junie B. Jones book, so I gave them a Reading credit.

Unfortunately, with all of our fun, I completely forgot about Nature Girl's Art lesson with my friend (and I neglected to be home to watch the friend's baby). Ouch! I'm working on forgiving myself for my imperfection.

3 credit day...

12/1/2010...HAPPY DECEMBER! if we couldn't tell it was here by the cranks at Wal-Mart

What is the ideal homeschool day? Well, I pretty much just had it! The Hub decided that, since he had to go to work he'd better help me get the house in line from the choas we created while he was off work. He also knew we needed to get in some consistent homeschooling. I can tell in their behavior when the kids haven't had that structure.

So, The Hub cleaned, while I (taking comfort in the extra set of hands) had some great one on one time with each of the girls:

We started out with Math workbooks. Nature Girl is working on division, and The Artist completed one of her mini-tests. (I'm not really thrilled with how random is her math curriculum book by Evan-Moor. It jumps around to too many topics. I like to spend at least a few days on one. I'm a lot happier with Nature Girl's Spectrum book. It has too many problems, but I let her pretest and skip when I'm convinced she has the concept. And I don't make her do too many in one day. I think 10 or so is enough.)

Next, they worked in their Spectrum spelling books. The Artist is working on a short 'a' word list. Nature Girl does a pretest. If she passes 80% of the words, I skip her ahead. If not, we work on the list for a day or two...write the words, use them in context and then write them in context or sort them by letter spellings (whichever fits best for the day). I use the workbook's first two pages of ideas and then add my own.

For Reading, I listened to The Artist read from decodable books, while Nature Girl had quiet read.

The Hub played guitar and sang with the girls for Music credit while I cleaned a bit (after checking our new Facebook page...this could get dangerous!).

Finally, we spent time together watching a dvd Bible curriculum our church provides for families.

Another 5 credit day...even though we didn't get the house done, I'm satisfied!

Thursday 12/2/2010

I had a mini-meltdown today. It seems to be the new daily occurence. I just can't seem to get a handle on things, lately. No order. Total chaos. Yet, God tells me to JUST BE! It's really quite offensive. :)

Fortunately, The Hub woke up a couple of hours early for me. He listened to me, and had the *$@!s to ask, "Are you complaining about your life?"

Of course, he knew I would be reminded of our precious Gifts in they are so grateful for a $4 donation, or the mushy cornmeal they get to eat every day. And it's not a GUILT thing...just a reminder. "It's really not that bad."

So, do you know what he did before going to work? He made dinner for the kids and me...AND he cleaned up the kitchen...while I sat on my rear by the window (in the direct sunlight) and knitted and talked. Isn't he great? Aren't I truly the luckiest wife on earth (next to you, of course!)

Of course, this was all after we did most of our homeschool. I'm trying to stay on schedule with it. This morning, for Science, we read from the "National Geographic for Kids" magazine an article about tigers. Then, I had The Sisters draw pictures of tigers (yes, that's Little Man eating the crayons) and write a fact they had learned.

We also worked on Math worksheets. Nature Girl is still on division. The Artist worked on counting by 10's.

For Reading credit, we went to the library to get new books. When we got home, I had Nature Girl write thank you notes (left from her birthday) and The Artist wrote a letter to our Gift in Africa.

Finally, I let them play on the Computer. (Animal Jam again)

Of course, the greatest lesson I gave them today was my cracking down on obedience. I have SUCH a hard time with that! I'm trying to enforce obeying me for my authority's sake, because by obeying me, they ARE obeying God.

5 credit day!

(Please check out my prayer requests.)

Is it REALLY Friday? ... 12/3/2010

We met with our homeschool group today! It is such a wondefully valuable experience. I'll admit, it was tough to gather my energy to lead today. Little Man was a handful in the nursery, and I had to take him out. I'm not feeling well, and because of this respiratory junk, I CAN'T get any sleep at night.

That said...Homeschool group is COMPLETELY worth the fighting through my exhaustion. Then, you have someone like my friend The Gifted, who notices me trying to help clean up and, like a true friend (who listened to today's "Created to Serve" theme) steals the vacuum out from under me and says, "I WANT to vacuum for you today. You are sick."

What a blessing it is to have good friends!

We studied scipture in the Bible that teaches us to serve. We learned about serving, and we served the community by preparing and delivering food bags to local public school kids in need (Social Studies).

We also learned sign language that we can use to serve the deaf community (Language Arts).

At the end of the day, the kids were all wound up and running around, so I bundled their energy into a game of Red Rover to count for P.E. (That's the kind of game we miss out on with just three kids in our school! I was glad they had the opportunity to play.)

I will probably read Junie B. Jones with the girls sometime tonight or over the weekend for another Reading credit to count this as a 5 credit day.

We've had a good full week (excepting only Tuesday). Have a HAPPY WEEKEND!