Our Family

Our Family

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Recap of Our Week

Since I obviously did not get back to the computer yesterday, I thought I would just do a recap of our week. We only do "school" 4 days a week leaving Friday open for playgroup with our friends, grocery shopping, and other errands. Today is going to be a light day because I am headed off to another Dr. appointment this afternoon. We have less than 8 weeks to go!

Our Monday Morning Project this week was to do Winter Drawings. Snow is a bit of a novelty around here. We usually only get it once a year and it melts before the day is out. But it is a very interesting topic for the children. Our Five in a Row book this week is Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost so this also was our Art Lesson. We just took dark blue paper and white crayons and drew winter scenes. Everyone drew snowmen (of course) but we also had snow covered trees and houses. Nick also made some snowflakes. He loves making snowflakes out of construction paper.

For our Science in Five in a Row we did a worksheet on matching animals to their tracks. For Language Arts we matched 5 vocabulary words with their definitions. Our handwriting assignment was to copy Jingle Bells, and we also did a worksheet on Who was Robert Frost? Nick also did his regular Math assignments one page every day out of Math-U-See's Alpha, and his spelling words on http://www.spellingcity.com/. He also spent 30 minutes of free reading time every day, and we are continuing to read out of the Egermeier's Bible story Book.

Chelsea is learning about Ancient Greece. She read several book this week and her History/Language Arts assignment was to do a Book Report on one of the books she read. In Science we are doing a unit on Inventors/Inventions and I found some worksheets on http://www.abcteach.com/. Her assignment this week was on the Wright Brothers. She also does one lesson a day out of her Math-u-see book and her Bible Study on Elsie Dinsmore's Life Lessons. Chelsea also does spelling on http://www.spellingcity.com/, her music is practicing the clarinet, but we did skip Art this week. We are still reading through The Lord of the rings for our Read-Aloud.

Alex did some of the work out of Five in a Row. He spends time "reading" every day during quiet time. He has a desire to learn to read so we are working on some phonics sounds and reading lots of rhyming books. I also printed several math counting sheets off the Internet and one day he made a pizza counting book by cutting and pasting pepperoni on to blank pizzas labeled 1-10. He loves cutting and pasting and this kept him busy for a long time. I can't remember where I found that on the Internet.

The Stomach Bug

You never know when it is going to strike, who it is going to strike next, or how long it is going to be lingering throughout your house. Is everyone going to come down with it? After it starts all you can do is wait and see, and hope that it will be short-lived and not make its way through everyone in the house.

I had several different things I was going to post about yesterday, but after being up all night Monday with a sick baby, I never got around to sitting at the computer. He seemed to be fine yesterday during the day and I even squeezed in a short nap while he was sleeping. Then last night the poor baby was sick again, but now he is up and playing. So for now we will just watch and wait. I hope he is over the worst of it and that nobody else comes down with it. Hopefully later on this afternoon I will get back to the computer to post everything I was planning on yesterday, but for now I am off to do some laundry before we start our schoolwork.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Chelsea's Lapbook on Ancient Egypt

I meant to post this quite awhile ago and then forgot that I never did. From August through December, Chelsea was studying Ancient Egypt. We read several nonfiction and historical fiction books on Ancient Egypt. Then as a way to put everything she was learning into one place, I thought we would work on a lapbook. I found a great outline for a lapbook on Ancient Egypt on http://www.homeschoolhelperonline.com/ under their lapbook link. Then I found something even better. A homeschool mom had used this outline and downloaded several templates to be used to put the lapbook together. She posted this and offered it as a free download. Her link is www.homeschoolblogger.com/homeschoolingmommaof4/408126. I was so happy to find this. It made my life a whole lot easier.
Some of the things we included in our lapbook were: Egyptian homes, transportation, math, work, science, furniture, entertainment, foods, clothing, and religion. We also did a page with information and drawings of Egyptian pyramids. We made Canopic Jars out of clay and included a picture and information on these. We also mummified a Barbie Doll ( I did post this previously) and included the pictures and how we did it. Chelsea also learned how to write her name in Hieroglyphics and drew the symbols in her lapbook. We really enjoyed this project.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Lesson on Money

This month I have been trying to think of important things that I think a 1st grader should know that hasn't come up in any of our "curriculum." We worked on writing his full name, and address. He has already learned how to tell time and the days of the week and months of the year last year. The next thing that I thought we should work on was money. Nick is pretty good about knowing his dollar bills, but except for the quarter (needed for video games at the pizza place) he did not know the difference between the other coins and what they were worth. I started out by going to the computer to print out some worksheets off of the Internet, but my printer is not working all that great and it didn't sound like much fun. So, instead we went for some hands on learning at the kitchen table. We made stacks of each coin to equal a dollar. Then we talked about the different coins and how much they were worth. We also practiced counting them by 10's, 5's ect... Then we played "store" and practiced "buying" things for a set price and deciding which coins we should use to buy the item. For Alex we kept it very simple," Count out 3 pennies to buy this seashell." Nick's was a little bit harder using pennies, nickles, dimes, and quarters. The boys had fun doing this activity. I think they really learned a lot, and we will be practicing this again very soon.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Out of the Mouth of Babes

All three of the older boys wanted to play with the same Star Wars Transformer ship this morning. We have 5 or 6 ships but they all wanted the same one. I explained to Anthony that Nick had it first and in a little while, he would share with him and then Anthony could have a turn.

Anthony, " Sharing is NOT fun! It always makes me cry."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

January's Homeschool Co-op

Yesterday was our monthly Homeschool Co-op and the children always look forward to going. Our theme for this month was Cooking Around the World. Each family chose a country and did a small presentation about that country. We also chose a dish from that country and brought the ingredients for the children to be able to prepare that dish. a couple of families also brought a small craft to go along with their country. The church that allows us to use their building has a big kitchen/fellowship area so we were able to set up 6 different "countries" quite easily. The children got to make Quesadillas and Maracas in Mexico, Pizza in Italy, Crepes in France, Rice with vegetables and Tea in China, Baklava and Olympic Medals in Greece, and Snicker doodles in Germany. It was a fun learning experience and the children enjoyed cooking and of course eating their creations.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday Morning Project:Torn Paper Collage

Today for our Monday Morning Project we did a simple craft. We made torn paper collages out of construction paper (wrapping paper also works well.) The children made a design out of glue on a piece of construction paper, and tore different colors of construction paper to glue on their design. They enjoyed this craft very much and everyone could participate. Alex really had fun with this and made 6 collages. He did not like to tear the paper, though. Instead he got a pair of scissors and cut strips of paper to make his design.

Great Baking Website

I just found out about this website http://www.homebaking.org/. This site promotes baking education and has educator resources, science in the kitchen activities, baking with kids, and recipes. It looks like a great site for parents and teachers, or parents who are teachers too!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Living on a Budget

I read somewhere recently that the two biggest New Year's Resolutions had to do with weight loss and finances. Not really a big surprise, but the same article also said that by the second week of the New Year most people have already thrown their resolution out the window. Another thing that really surprises me is the number of people that do not have a budget in place for their finances. Art and I have lived both ways at one time or another and I have to say that living on a budget is much easier than trying to live without it. You have much more control over your finances if you know where all of your money is going. I am not a financial expert, but I thought I would share what works the best for our family.
You need three things in order to make a budget successful: you need to spend less than you make every month, you need to be honest about what you spend, and you and your spouse need to agree on your budget, and hopefully sit down and work it out together. All of your income should have a specific category, and you should put your budget in writing. Art's check is direct deposited every two weeks, so I pay all of our monthly bills using online banking. It is faster, more convenient, and less expensive than writing checks. After money is subtracted out for our regular monthly bills, I withdraw the rest as cash, and pay cash for everything else. We use a system you may have heard of called the envelope system. We have several different envelopes that each get a set amount of money. When the money is gone you can no longer spend money on that category. If you have money left at the end of the month it carries over to the next month. Some examples of our envelopes are: groceries, gas, clothing, savings, camping, Christmas, car maintenance, misc. household expenses (taxes, vehicle registration, etc..) Different families would have different categories and different amounts. As you go along you may discover that you run out of gas money every month, but have a surplus in your clothing envelope, then you can make adjustments to your budget. I feel in much more control of our money when I know exactly how much I have and how much I have spent.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tasty Tuesday: Lasagna

Did you ever notice that if you don't make something for a while it is more enjoyable the next time you eat it? Well, I haven't made lasagna for several months but while I was making my grocery list at the beginning of the month I discovered a box of Oven Ready Lasagna noodles in the cupboard, so I added it to my menu plan. I made it for supper last night and there wasn't even any leftovers. Here is the recipe that I used.

9 oven ready lasagna noodles
1 container cottage cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese
2 eggs
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 lb ground beef
1 cup water

Combine, eggs, cottage cheese, and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. In another bowl combine water, sauce, and ground beef. In a 9x13 pan spread 1 1/2 cups of sauce, lasagna, cheese mixture, and sauce. Repeat layering once. Top with remaining lasagna then sauce. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese, wrap with a double layer of foil, and bake at 425 for 60 minutes.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Nicholas!!!

January 12, 2002 at 2:16 pm Nicholas Arthur was born weighing 8 lbs 6 oz and was 21 inches long. After an early morning check-up, my doctor decided to put me in the hospital and break my water (I was full term and almost 5 cm dilated with no contractions.) We went in, filled out paperwork and at 10:00 am my water was broken. My doctor said she would see me around supper time. Boy was everyone surprised when 2 hours and 16 minutes later the baby was born. He has gone from a beautiful sweet baby to a handsome young man right before my very eyes. To celebrate turning 7 we went to Simple Simon's on Saturday when my mom and dad could be here to eat pizza and play video games. He got new Star Wars Legos (he loves building them) and a pair of Roller Blades. He had a great time and is already talking about turning eight. Why are they in such a hurry to grow up?

Friday, January 9, 2009

On a Scrapbooking Mission

A couple of years ago, I started making scrapbooks for all of the children. I really enjoyed doing it and completed the first couple of years of each child's life. Since then, I made a scrapbook for my parents 35 Th anniversary with one page for each year they had been married, and I started a scrapbook for Christian, but I never really intended on going back to the individual children's scrapbook's. I thought maybe down the road I would just start doing a family album. Well, right around Alex's birthday in November he kept telling everyone that even though he was going to be 5 years old he had only ever had 2 birthdays. Reasoning with him did not work at all. he was convinced that he had only ever had two. I couldn't figure out what gave him this idea, until one day we were looking in his scrapbook and I had only completed a little past his second birthday. He thought that since it wasn't in the book he had never had another birthday. I decided then that I should continue working on their books but my supplies were very depleted. After Christmas and a birthday I have enough supplies to do some more work on them, and now it is like an obsession. I spent 2 days uploading pictures to http://www.walmart.com/, enough to get me caught up on everyone. I think it is a pregnant nesting thing, but I am determined to get these books caught up before the baby is born (I only have 10 weeks left so I am working a little bit every day during nap time) I almost wonder if I am setting myself up for a project that will never be completed, but I have fun doing it and some day the children will have this book that I made to look back on, and they will know how many birthdays they have had. I hope they enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed working on them.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

Today is my birthday, the big 31. My wonderful husband is bringing me home supper from my favorite restaurant and my children are baking me a cake. Last year I wasn't at all happy with turning 30, but somehow 31 doesn't seem like a big deal at all (funny how that works isn't it.) Since there are hardly any pictures of me I thought I would post this one taken at Art's Christmas party this year.

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Little Fun With Dr.Seuss

Since we have been on vacation for 3 weeks and we have a short school week (I have a doctor's appointment on Wednesday and it will take up most of the day) we decided not to do a Five in a Row book this week. Instead I found some Unit Studies on http://www.homeschoolshare/ that were on Dr. Seuss. The first book we did today was The Cat in the Hat and we talked about weather, telling the truth and what to do if a stranger were to come to the door. We also listed all of the things the Cat balances at one time. Then, just for fun and a little PE, we tried to balance books on our heads and walk around the room. Chelsea actually balanced seven books at one time, but the boys were pretty happy just to balance one.

Monday Morning Project- A Simple Sewing Project

Yesterday afternoon we watched an episode of Little Bear on Noggin. On this episode, Little Bear decides that his friend Emily's doll Lucy needs a friend. So Little Bear and Mother Bear make Fisherman Bear to be a friend for Lucy. This morning we decided to sew some stuffed animals out of felt. I have several paper patterns of different shapes and animals so the boys chose what they wanted to make, picked a color from our felt supply, cut out the pattern, sewed up the sides, and stuffed their creations. Nick made a pumpkin, Alex made Cuddles the Bear, and Anthony wanted a Christmas Tree (I think he is missing our Christmas decorations.) Nick and Alex did great sewing (only one finger got poked )and stuffing their projects and just needed help cutting it out and threading the needle. I had to make Anthony's for him but it took less than 10 minutes. Chelsea was busy sewing some doll clothes and Christian wasn't very interested in what was going on. The boys had a lot of fun with this project and it was great for a rainy day.