Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Co-op Classes

We have had such a good semester in our homeschool co-op group!  I have mostly been in class with the younger kids-- Ellie and Reagan's class.  Friend Amy hosted us for the first part of the semester, and now we are back at Friend Starr's house.
Ellie and Sunshine, making joyful noises!
Showing off an art project, state of Tennessee string art
Both classes have covered so much material: basic government, fun facts about Tennessee, several historical figures, a small unit study with the novel, Stone Fox, and a Bible study on the book of Jonah for the older class while the youngers have studied the fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5.
Flipping a coin as part of our meekness lesson...
What does that have to do with meekness, you ask?
You'd just have to be there!
 We have brought a fruit every week to go along with the fruit of the Spirit study.  We tried to pick fruits that were symbolic of the trait we studied that day, but that didn't always work out.  We used strawberries for love because they're nearly heart-shaped; bananas for joy because they're shaped like a smile; a piece of watermelon for peace- a play on words there; lemons for patience because you have to eat a lemon s-l-o-w-l-y; peaches for gentleness because you must be careful not to bruise a peach; kiwis for faith because they have such little seeds and we reworded Jesus' words to be "faith the size of a kiwi seed"; pears for goodness and oranges for meekness, but I forget why.  I'll have to get back to you on that!
More joyful noise!

The younger class is winding up these last couple of weeks of the semester with a short study about the sun.  Here is a neat craft we did to start off with: we cut out large circles of white cardstock and put yellow, red, and orange paint on them.  Then we covered them with plastic wrap and the kids squished the paint around to cover the circle.  The result is kind of a tie-dye look.  Very cool.

Precious friends
We hope this Friday will be sunny and we can try some neat experiments like melting chocolate chips with the sun and a magnifying glass, making rainbows with a prism, or even making a solar oven!  We just never know where we might end up!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Moments to Amaze a Mom

Don't you just love those moments when your child surprises you by how much they know?  I know it happens to all parents, but I just can't help but imagine that we stay-at-home moms get it a little more often than others.  (Would you agree... or am I being snooty?)
Well, we had just such a morning recently.  I had set up Ellie and Andrew to play a math game and they were both doing quite well.  Side note:  Sometimes, I can't help myself.  I tell the older kids to take it easy on Ellie.  "She's younger than you.  Help her out.  Don't be too aggressive"  You've heard it before.  Those of you who were the younger sister, like me, are nodding your heads.  Those of you who were the older ones are probably rolling your eyes!  Then, when she beats the pants off her big brother or sister, I think, maybe I should just leave the room and let what will happen, happen!
Ellie did win here, but only by one point, and Andrew took the loss very graciously.
Okay, back to the real point of this post.  Since these two had a game to play, Reagan wanted a game, too.  I told him he could go to the game shelf and pick something.  He came down with one of my favorites (for the younger set), Dr. Seuss' Super Stretchy ABC.  It's a really cute Twister-style game.  Well, I say cute.  It's cute for the kids, but when they persuade Mom or Dad to play it is side-splitting hilarious!
Again, back to the point.  I helped Reagan spread out the mat and waited to see how he would actually play.  He took out all the disks and I pointed out to him that the pictures on the disks match the pictures on the mat.  He commenced to putting every disk with its matching picture on the mat-- to much applause and fanfare, I might add.  Now, Reagan, being a typical 3-
year-old boy, doesn't usually stick  with this type of activity for long, so we were all very impressed.
About this time, Marian joined him on the floor and Reagan found the cards for this game as well.  We showed him that the cards each have a letter that match the letters on the mat.  Off he went again, matching all the cards, letter by letter.
What a smart boy!!  Like I said, I just love the moments when my kids choose to amaze me!

A Proud Day

What a day we've had!  
After everyone rushing around this morning to get our necessary Saturday chores done, the girls and I sped off to Cleveland, TN (and hour  away) to a 4-H speech competition for Marian.
This was Marian's first competition involving more than just a few local kids, so I was a little nervous for her.  Not that I needed to be.  Marian is unbelievably cool and collected in front of a crowd.   Unfortunately, her allergies decided to really kick in full force overnight, so the poor girl could hardly breathe, had difficulty projecting her voice, and was battling an earache.  Nonetheless!  Marian did a really good job with her speech.  She did not place in the top three, but we sure are proud of her!!

Meanwhile, Dad & boys did not let any grass grow under their feet!  Andrew had a soccer game this afternoon.  He is playing better an better this season.  If his coaches keep bragging on him like they have been, we'll have to build a bigger door or else Dwayne won't be able to get his head in the house!!  Today, Andrew's team enjoyed their biggest win of the season thus far.  They beat the team from Kimball, 7-0!  Go, blue!  (Who would have ever pinned me as a "soccer mom"?!?)
As if the day wasn't full enough, our church's annual ladies banquet was this evening.  We buzzed back from the speech competition just in time... actually, we were a bit late.  Some of the men of the church cooked and served a wonderful meal for us and a dear lady from Kentucky came to be our speaker for the evening.
But most incredibly of all is this picture.  Do you see that my ELEVEN-year-old is as tall as I am?  When did this happen?  

Friday, April 12, 2013

Reagan's School Days

Play dough is one of Reagan's favorites.
I was very concerned at the beginning of this school year about how I was going to keep Reagan busy and educate the other three kids all at the same time.  I know, countless other mothers do it every day, so it shouldn't be a big deal.  Well, trust me!  It is a big deal!
This little piggy went to homeschool...

However, we are nearly through the school year and we have all managed quite well.  Reagan started out wanting to be with us most of the time,  but has gained an immense amount of independence over the past nine months.  While he is always very happy to have a playmate, there have been days that he has played by himself through our entire morning session!  That's a big deal, too!
Here, a  collection of some of Reagan's school days.  Too cute.
My little leftie

Reagan got really quiet one morning.  We went looking and found a whole bunch of precious!
Cool, dude!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Happy Resurrection Day!

We had a wonderful Easter!  Church, friends, eggs, fun.
                              I love hiding eggs for my kids to find!                                                                  Reagan really got into it, as you can see!  It looks as if he slid into home for this one!  
  My friend Amy came up with a wonderful way to celebrate Easter this year!  I need to remember it for next year.  Instead of Easter baskets, she prepared New Life Baskets for her kids.  What a wonderful way to keep the focus on our risen Savior!  Check it out!  I'm so thankful to have such creative friends!