Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Larry Gets Lost in Seattle Part 1

We are back and had a terrific time in Washington State! We were in Seattle from Friday morning until noon on Sunday. Beth and Greg gave Mia a book called Larry Gets Lost in Seattle. It's a story about all the landmarks there. Before we left we read through it again and talked about all the things the girls wanted to do. The top of their list: ride our car onto a boat! Seriously, how much fun would that be!

So our first stop, while Beth and Greg were at work, was to take the ferry to Bainbridge Island. Some thought it was great.

Some...well...didn't even know we were in the car on a boat.

We had lunch on the island and then walked around a bit.

After a few hours it was time to head back. And yes, Anna was awake for the ferry back to Seattle!

After we got to Beth and Greg's house we went to the park across the street to meet Alfred, their dog. He is extremely afraid of children and so we thought it might be a good place for him to loosen up. He warmed up to them a teensy tiny bit before we went to the house for a barbecue. Roberta and Don joined us. I took no pictures. :( It was great to see them!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Jack and the Beanstalk

We are in Seattle! I will blog about our trip later, but for now let me tell you about a little performance we went to at the library on Thursday. It was a revised edition of...

It was a two person play. The giant is actually a very large puppet on a stick. The story has Jack borrowing books from the giant's collection without asking him. After getting caught, the giant decides to open a library!

It was a very intimate little excursion. And Arden joined us too!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Last Week and Other Stuff

We are still alive over here. Things have been really really busy. I went to Parent's Day at the girls' school last week.

They ate cookies and sang songs. It was so sweet. They have a nice group of children in their class.

The girls love it when Becky "wraps" them. She is big into baby wearing. Anna especially likes it. The problem with Anna is that if you wear her when she wants you to, around 5:00, she falls asleep and then she's up until 10:00!

I took the girls for a hair trim last week. Someone decided they don't like me brushing their hair. Honestly, with the natural shampoo we have to use for her, her hair gets to be one mass of snarls. So she agreed with the hairdresser that shorter hair might work.

How do you think she looks? And this was out of bed without having her hair brushed yet. We are loving it!!

The contraption you see is an apple peeler and corer. I remember my sister having one and boy does it make a difference when you are making applesauce! We normally peel and cut 20 apples. We were done here in about ten minutes! Love Amazon Prime!

Dan and I refinished our 18 year old kitchen table. We made it darker to go with the rest of the furniture. We got two quotes of $1200 to have it done. We thought that was crazy! It was easy to do it ourselves. Hope it lasts. * smile*

Mia is becoming more and more of a chapter book person. She loves her Rainbow Fairy books. Frankly, I think they are inane and I hate reading them to her. But...she loves them and...well, that's it. There are no other redeeming qualities to them that I can think of. I am reading Little House in the Big Woods to them in bed at night. I get to choose the bedtime books! She also likes to listen to Magic Tree House books on the Overdrive App from the library.

Tomorrow we leave for Washington State to visit Greg, Beth, Alfred, Donna and Mike! It's going to rain the whole time. *sniff*

Sunday, May 18, 2014


Yesterday was a fun day. In the morning we went to our friends' daughter's Confirmation. It was at our church so the kids were familiar with the routine. We brought coloring books and they handled the hour and a half Mass like champs. Afterwards we all enjoyed the party.

They live on five acres so the girls got to feed horses, play with dogs and ride scooters all over.

After the party we came home, ate dinner and then headed out to see Gabby star in her school's production of School House Rock.

She did a wonderful job and the whole thing was only 40 minutes, perfect for our tired out kiddos!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Next Year

We are four weeks away from the end of our homeschool year. Our last day will be June 12th. The next week is C3 at our church, the Catholic answer to vacation bible school. After that, we will have our summer break until we get back from Jamaica in August. Homeschool will start again August 18th.

Yes, I'm a planner. I love to plan. I love to revise plans. I love to organize. I think it is just part of my DNA. Beth loves to plan even more than I do and I never taught her. It just comes naturally to both of us.

I am already planning next year's curriculum. I'm excited to have a longer school day. We'll see how Mia feels about it! But she will officially be in kindergarten and I will need to start accounting for my time. Technically, I don't need to chart attendance until she is age 7, when education is compulsory in Colorado. But I will start next year.

We will be adding some new things to our reading, math and handwriting curriculum:

Dictation and copy work.

Five in a Row: literature based learning across subjects, but we will have to call it Four in a Row as Friday will be the Options program for Mia.

Character First: character building curriculum

Suzanne Tate's Nature Series books and activities: science

We will continue to do gymnastics, swimming, and park days for exercise. Mia will also have P.E. on Fridays at Options.

To get ready for next year I am reading an amazing book on classical home education called the Well Trained Mind. There is so much good information!

I especially like the following quote about socialization: Children need friends. Children do not need to be surrounded by large groups of peers who inevitably follow the strongest personality in the crowd. Amen. (I added the Amen.)

This book goes back to to the classical way children were taught in the past divided into three levels by grade:

K-4 : Memorization and accumulation of facts. This goes completely against what is thought to be important now. Quote
from the book: The immature mind is more suited to absorption than argument.

5-8 : Logical thinking, using the accumulation of data. Children are much better equipped to think logically when
they've accumulated large sums of data!

9-12: Expressive use of all this logic and accumulated facts.

This seems reasonable, right? I saw this in my own classroom. There were children who couldn't divide numbers because they hadn't memorized their multiplication facts, children who had poor reading comprehension because they just didn't have the vocabulary stores.

Once I'm finished with the book I'll make a decision as to which way to go. With Common Core, the nation is turning away from all this. Will I? I'm not sure but I can say it has to be a pretty engaging read for me to be up at 12:30 AM writing this post!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Life at Home

My mom gave Mia a gift card to Jamba Juice for her birthday. The girls LOVED their smoothies.

Anna loved it so much she wants to have her birthday there. Instead of Disneyland.

These three are having so much fun together. Most of the time. They are learning to get along together. Most of the time.

Shhh. We secretly hope that when Becky moves out she'll forget to take Maks.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Super Saturday

Isn't it always the same. You have nothing on the schedule for several Saturdays in a row and then, four events all on the same day! Last Saturday was one of those. Our big event was the first Colorado Cleft Conference in Colorado Springs.

This was a day for kids with clefts to meet other kids like them and for family members to touch base with other families. There were several really good speakers and we learned quite a bit. Hopefully it will grow each year and be something we all look forward to.

We left the conference a bit early to go to Lorelei's birthday party. It was our last stop of the day as the Cinco de Mayo party was canceled due to a family emergency and we decided not to even try to go to the Kentucky Derby party!

This was our first time attending a pirate princess party!

There was food fit for the princesses.

We all had fun with this theme!

Even Morgan joined in the fun from California. (He's a family friend.)

We were thankful we got to go home after this party, eat dinner, and go to bed!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Our Not So Princessy Girl

So last year Mia could buy anything she wanted, within price reason, at Disneyland for her birthday. You might remember she bought this. This year she got a gift card from Brittany and Joey. So anything was hers at Target, within price range. There were lots of Barbies she looked at, along with My Little Ponies and battery operated puppy dogs. But this won her heart.

You are one of a kind Mia!