August-September-October Books

October 31st, 2012 by Rachel

The number of books I read this year is looking to be much lower than previous years. I wasn’t really aware of how much time homeschooling takes in a day, and how much I want/need a nap in the afternoon rather than reading. I also haven’t had many books that I want to read. I will read a bit and enjoy it, but I cannot keep with it. To everything there is a season…

21. The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan – this tells the author’s story of being diagnosed with breast cancer as a mother of two preschool-aged girls. It was sweet and sad, and I enjoyed reading it.

22. Stolen Innocence by Elissa Walls – my book club read this for October. It was the author’s story of growing up in the FLDS community, being forced to marry at the age of 14, and taking Warren Jeffs to trial. It was very interesting and a glimpse into this group and their twisted theology.

23. Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist – This is a collection of essays. Each one is short and thought-provoking. I cried reading a few of them, and I thoroughly enjoyed her essays on becoming a mother. I liked that each one was not related to the previous ones, so I could pick it up and read one or more at a time here and there.

24. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg – My friend, Corrie, recommended this book, and both Thomas and I enjoyed reading it. I am successfully breaking my dark chocolate chip habit (one week in!) and it has made me think through many of my habits and how to create different ones. The chapter on Target knowing way too much about its shoppers scared me a little. They knew I was pregnant when I was pregnant with Micah, even though I never registered there or signed up for anything. Some of the topics in the book are found in this article, by the author.

I feel like I am forgetting one, but I guess that happens when you don’t write anything down!
For the kids, I read aloud abridged versions of The Jungle Book, The Little Princess and The Secret Garden. We enjoyed all of them, especially The Little Princess. I highly recommend it! I can’t vouch for the unabridged version, but the abridged one was perfect for a four and six year old.

October Field Trips

October 27th, 2012 by Rachel

We were able to go on two field trips this month. I’m not sure if that is what you call them if you are homeschooling, but you understand.

Our first trip was to Washington on the Brazos for one of their homeschool days. It was a wonderful trip, and I highly recommend it. Speedy stayed home with Thomas which made the experience much more enjoyable.

First, one of the ladies that works in the museum talked to the kids about life for pioneer children who were early settlers in Texas. They were able to see different tools, chores, clothes and toys from that era. We made a few simple toys together, and then we toured the museum before enjoying a picnic lunch outside.

In the afternoon  and during their outback adventure , the kids got a tour of the Barrington Farms portion of the museum. First, there was the tour of the pioneer house and time to do some of the chores–feeding chickens, carrying water, and washing rags in a bucket with a washboard and then hanging them on the clothesline. Sugar loved the “laundry”.

Afterward, we got to see the farm side with pigs, turkeys, cotton plants and lots of dried corn.

We got to see the slave quarters and compare them to the house. They were exhausted by the time we were done, and Sugar was out of smiles.

Last week, we went on a tour of the air traffic control tower at our local airport with our PE co-op. We also got to sit in a little airplane and look at other planes in the hangar. The kids enjoyed it, and Speedy learned the sign for airplane after watching a plane takeoff on the runway nearby.

This was my favorite picture of the trip.

Speedy is 14 Months Old!

October 27th, 2012 by Rachel

And Speedy he is running, climbing on everything, and talking up a storm. He is learning something new everyday. Some of his latest skills include:
-climbing up the ladder of our fort. DANGER! We need to build some sort of barricade or he cannot play outside until he is 2.5
-giving high-fives
-signing and making a sound for “airplane”
-saying “Moo, baa, la, la, la”
-giving kisses and hugs on command
-sitting in big chairs for a minute at a time
-riding on Sister’s bike and being pushed around the block
-dragging random objects up and down the sidewalk

He spends his “free” time as I attempt to teach the older kids, cook, or clean the house reading books or slowly rearranging our entire house, one object at a time. Speedy thinks toothpaste should be in the laundry room, cups in bedrooms, and books in the bathtubs. I’m thankful I have two little helpers that have to clean up after him before they can have tv time. Mwah ha ha! (That was a maniacal laugh, in case you couldn’t tell.)

Speedy is making the transition from two naps a day to one nap. He will take a great morning nap, but then won’t nap in the afternoon, which is when Sugar naps, Bud has quiet reading time, and I get to fold laundry or nap in peace. So, we have attempted one nap a day more often this month, and it works better some days than others. He can do it every other day, otherwise he gets very crabby.

He loves to look at books. He also loves trucks (which is what he calls everything from cars to diggers to tractors). His favorite foods are chicken nuggets, fruit, crackers and broccoli. Broccoli is one of the only veggies he eats these days, and he will eat so much of it. Otherwise, he gets his veggies from baby food pouches.

Speedy makes some really adorable animal sounds. He will moo like a cow, pant like a dog, tweet like a bird, bang his chest like a gorilla, growl like a lion, and spit like a camel. It is so cute!

I really enjoy this age of toddlerhood where he is learning so much and able to express what he is thinking. Apparently, Speedy thinks about dogs, trucks, hats and Daddy almost constantly. The downside of this age of toddlerhood is the beginning of expressing his opinion by throwing mini-fits and throwing food off of his tray.

September in Our Home

October 5th, 2012 by Rachel

September was a whirlwind of a month for us with our Classical Conversations group starting back for the year. I am tutoring Bud’s class which is a lot of fun and sugar is in a big kid class, too. Our PE Co-op also began, thus homeschooling is going full-force. We started reading Story of the World about ancient times. We even made some little caveman wall paintings.

Thomas spent a week in Canada for work. It was our first week of CC and PE, but we survived! To help pass the time, we did fun things like getting yogurt in the afternoon.

Thomas celebrated another birthday. He is still a kid at heart, as you can see. The kids were really sweet and put together a whole shoe box of presents for him–stickers, their favorite crayons, pencils, drawings galore. It was really sweet.

We had dinner with some of our international student friends. They took us to a Korean restaurant (they aren’t Korean), and we had a lot of fun trying new foods and catching up about our summers.

We enjoyed the cooler weather and ate dinner outside one night until the mosquitoes drove us inside.

Thomas and Bud built a bird feeder in the backyard. The kids planted many of the sunflower seeds in their sand toys and many have sprouted. The feeder attracted a cardinal several times, but now the seeds have been consumed by a squirrel, hanging from the branch by his tail.

Sugar built a high chair for her baby, who enjoyed some scrambled eggs one morning.

Speedy is 13 Months Old

October 5th, 2012 by Rachel

I am playing catch up on blog posts today, but wanted to remember some of Speedy’s milestones this month before I forget. Speedy is hilarious and we spend a lot of time laughing at his antics. Some his latest skills include:
-making animal sounds–for a dog he sticks his tongue out and pants, he will tweet like a bird, and growl when he sees a picture of a lion or dinosaur
-sitting for long periods of time looking through board books
-climbing up stairs
-climbing on small chairs/stools
-blowing kisses
-giving hugs (mostly to stuffed animals)
-being unreliable in nap-taking (some days he fights one of his naps, fun!)

Speedy loves being outside, and he would play in the garage, driveway or backyard all day long if he could. Speedy’s words include: bye-bye, nigh-nigh, ball, Daddy, Momma, Ya-Ya (brother), Ees (sister), truck, car, poo-poo. Twice this month he told me he had a dirty diaper by walking up and saying “poo-poo”. I was shocked.

He is a fairly good eater, except he barely eats breakfast. This makes for a very grumpy boy who has to get out of the house in the morning so he will eat Cheerios while riding in the stroller. He refuses to be spoon-fed anything, but I can occasionally get him to suck on some baby food through those new baby food containers (pure genius).