2/26/2015

Pinterest Funnies: Februray 2015 Edition

I've been spending a lot of time on Pinterest lately. Other than reading blogs (and books!) it's nice to scroll through Pinterest on my Kindle while a certain sweet, little boy is nursing..which seems to be more frequent since our rotavirus episode. I'm cutting him slack for now though, since I want him to put some weight back on. But pretty soon, he's gettin' the boot! ;)

As I've mentioned, I love scrolling through the Humor board on Pinterest. Lately, though, it seems like actually funny pins are hard to find. They're either crude or just plain stupid. I have to really search to find funny pins these days. Anyone else notice that?

Without further ado, here are a few pins that made me laugh. I hope they do the same for you. :) Disclaimer: I'm not responsible for where the links to these pins lead.

One does not simply reject Mr Thornton
This one's apropos since I'm still only a little over half-way through North and South. (I'm never going to finish the Classics Challenge. Sigh.)

Keeping me up at night
This is so me. It's another reason why I read before bed (other than that I love to read). Otherwise I lay there and let my crazy thoughts take over. Praying helps with that also, in case you struggle with this too. :P

I might be alone here, but the "Hey Girl" pins CRACK ME UP.


Hey girl. let's talk homeschooling.

Seen

 
I have no idea what I'm doing 

 There isn't any food!!

Again, so me. I'm pretty un-creative in the kitchen. Good thing I married a man who's a great cook!

This look




2/23/2015

Rotavirus - The Silver Lining

In an effort to find the Silver Lining in our recent bout with rotavirus*, here are 8 Reasons You Might Want Your Kids to Contract Rotavirus:


1. If your babies are looking a little "thick around the middle", just contract rotavirus! The weight will come right off!

2. If you're looking for an excuse to see what your washing machine can really do, just contract rotavirus! Put that machine to the test!

3. Is your toddler driving you crazy with all their walking and talking? Just contract rotavirus! They won't get out of bed/off the couch for days! And who has time for talking when you're throwing up every half hour?

4. If you're getting low on groceries, contract rotavirus! At least half of the people in your home will stop eating!

5. Have the words "I'm getting too much sleep" come out of your mouth lately? Are you missing those "sleepless newborn days"? Contract rotavirus! You won't get more than an hour of sleep at a time!

6. Is your house smelling too clean? I know mine was. Never fear! Contract rotavirus and that "clean house" smell will be gone for at least a week!

7. Are you feeling "left out" of prayer chains? Want some attention from your friends and family? Contract rotavirus! You'll be asking for prayer so much your friends and family will have to take notice!

None of this would've been funny about 3 days ago. 
 Whoever said "Laughter is the best medicine" wasn't sick anymore.

***********************

my happy little guy before the Big "R" :)









Now for the real Silver Lining:
  • Now that our kids have had rotavirus, they're immune to it. *whew!*
  • I'm thankful that it wasn't anything worse than rotavirus. Even though it was difficult, there are so many children with incurable diseases and this was nothing compared to that. :(
  • I'm thankful that we homeschool (no need to catch up on homework!) and that I'm able to stay at home with my children. I wouldn't have wanted anyone else here to care for them. Well, except my dear husband, of course.
*I still stand by our decision to not vaccinate. :) No haters, please. 

2/21/2015

Week In A Post: Feburary 21, 2015




- This week was our "Sabbath Week." We school for 6 weeks, then take 1 week off. I'm not sure who first came up with the whole Sabbath Schooling thing, but it's the best idea ever. Especially this time of year (February!) when we all (read: Mommy) need a little break. I had a whole list of things to get done this week: 
  • organize the kids clothes - check!
  • organize bookshelves (we received 2 new-to-us bookshelves last week! woohoo!) - check! sort of.. I still have more to do.
  • clean desk - nope!
  • rearrange the girls' room - nope!
  • rearrange our bedroom - nope!
  • get caught up on cleaning - nope!
Why didn't I get most of those things done, you ask? That brings me to my next bullet point..

- on Tuesday, Rotavirus came to visit our house. :( You don't want to know all the gory details, but let me put it this way.. I don't recommend it. There has been lots of puking (among other things) and sleepless nights and laundry and crying. *Just* the kids have it--we're not quite sure about Oldest yet; it might pass over her. (sounds like the Angel of Death..) Please pray, if you think of it!

I also don't want to get into a discussion about vaccines (this mama says it very well [ignore the cussing]) We don't vaccinate and are comfortable with that decision. I'd still rather my kids get rotavirus than be vaccinated for it. To each his own. :) Since our kids *have* had it, they won't get it again. This strain anyway. cough.


- On a lighter note.. here's my To Read list:
  • The Shallows by Nicholas Carr - I've had this on my TR list for a while, but a recent conversation with a friend who's reading it prompted me to put it on hold... promptly! 
  • Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley (is that pronounced "silly"? teehee.) - This is the FlyLady's book. Can't believe I haven't read it yet.
  • Peace Like a River by Leif Enger - I've already started this and it's excellent.
  • The Lost World of Genesis One by John Walton - Started this one, too. I can't even tell you how interesting (and a little hard to understand!) it is! I'll be reading this very slowly.
  • Peoples of the Sea by Immanual Velikovsky (a recommendation by Ruth Beechick in The Language Wars - link to my review)
  • Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends by Sarah and Harold Mally - This one should be at the top of my list. Ask me why.
  • A Landscape with Dragons by Michael O'Brien - I linked to this one because it's easier than me explaining it to you. :)
  • Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson - I'm in a small group study with this and we're on Chapter 1. So far, so good! As usual with Sally.
  • Adam and His Kin by Ruth Beechick - I'm super interested in history/origin type stuff right now. Can you tell?
  • Homeschool Answer Book by Ruth Beechick
  • The Three R's by ... you guessed it! Ruth Beechick! (this'll be my second [third?] time through)
  • The Mysteries of Life in Children's Literature by Mitchell Kalpakgian (not shown) - I heard about The Mysteries.. on a recent podcast/video thingy with Sarah Mackenzie from Amongst Lovely Things.

I'm not sure why I ever think it's a good idea to put SIX HUNDRED BOOKS on hold at the library at one time. I can't tell you how many times I've had to send a book back that I haven't even opened! *tear* One thing I'm trying to do this year is to read more slowly. So I can really take in what I'm reading. Novel idea, eh? (Pun not intended.) That's hard to do when I have 12 novels to read in four weeks. *sigh* I'm going to do my best, though!

Not much else going on around here. (we don't NEED anything else!) We're all getting a little stir-crazy and so excited that Spring is on it's way!

What's new with you?


2/12/2015

Life in Pictures: Februrary 2015


This girl cracks me up.


I've been trying to get outside with the kids a little more. It's not easy for this girl. I'm always cold. And once I've gotten cold it seems to take me FOREVER to warm up again.

We have had a few "nice" days lately, (read: above 30 degrees) so I tried to take advantage. The sacrifices we make for our children, amIright?

Last week, we got a bunch of snow and Mr. N made a huge pile of it in our yard for the girls to play on. They sled on it daily.


You wouldn't think such a tiny pile of snow would bring so much joy. But it does. :)





2/11/2015

Handcraft: Soap Carving

Handcrafts are an important part of a Charlotte Mason education. We don't do as many handcrafts (handicrafts?) as I'd like, but we do some and I'm ok with that for now. It usually takes a bit of time and patience on my part--two things that aren't always in large supply. ;o)

I've been trying to teach Oldest how to knit--it's going ok. Her dexterity isn't quite *there* yet. In her defense, it took *me* a long time to learn and I was in my early 20's! (that makes me sound old. which I'm really not.)

We've also done some embroidery. That went pretty well. 

I thought it would be fun to try soap carving. I'm not sure if I'd recommend it for a 6 year old? Oldest did ok, but her perfectionist tendencies kept getting in the way. I told her there wasn't a wrong way to do it, but she was convinced there was. Poor girl. ;)

Here we are in my messy kitchen carving our soap.

  
Notice there's only one white chair. We used to have 2, but one's sitting in our garage right now. I bought the pair from a thrift store, painted and recovered the cushions. Turns out, when you have toddlers, it isn't the best idea to have fabric covering your chairs with no protective layer. *sigh*

(I should mention, too, that we got our table for FREE from a friend. The table was in their basement when they bought their house years ago. It was gray and needed a lot of work. Mr. N sanded and polished it and returned it to it's former glory! Isn't it great!? Did I mention it was FREE?)


I cut the end's off of large tongue depressors we had laying around to use for carving. They worked quite well.


Don't you just love sweet, little hands. *swoon*


Another note, if you have a 1 year old, it might be best to wait until naptime to carve soap. I kept having to sweep in fear that he would eat it off the floor!


I made the boat (the end broke off before I finished) and Oldest made the "L" (for her sister's name). I'm not quite sure what the others are supposed to be, but the girls gave it their all! :)



What handcrafts would you recommend for a 6 year old?

Linked up at Crossing the Brandywine.

handicraft bloggy button


2/09/2015

Trial and Error Scheduling

Are you sick of talking schedules yet? Yeah, me either! :D

I'm embarrassed to tell you how many times I've changed our School Week schedule. (I have to admit, I *love* creating tables and spreadsheets, so there's that.) But there's also been a lot of trial and error. I expect there to be a lot more. Life is fluid and there are always changes to be made. I would, however, like to print more than one schedule at a time, so hopefully, I can use this one for a while!

What I had wasn't working for several reasons..

First, I had the days labeled Mon, Tues, Wed, etc. There is hardly ever such a thing as a "normal" week around here (or anywhere I'd imagine), so if we had something scheduled one day, I'd have to move everything over to the next day. It made me feel like I was getting behind. And with one student, in Year 1, that's just silly. There's no such thing as "behind" yet!

Now, instead of having Mon, Tues, etc., I have Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, etc. Ideally, we only have school 4 days a week anyway, with Friday (or the "outside activity" day--whichever comes first) being a lighter day. We do our Nature Journals, Handcraft, add to our Timeline, and a few other things on that day. We also use that day to catch up, if needed.

Which it usually is.

Another problem I had was sticking with our scheduled times. You knew that was coming didn't you? I thought with my old schedule, even though I had scheduled some margin(!), I could still stay somewhat on track. HA!

Turns out, Staying on Schedule is as fantastical as unicorns who sing you to sleep every night while playing a harp. (I have no idea where that came from but I'm rolling with it.)

We still have our Anchors--Snack Time (I'm usually reminded when it's that time), Lunch, Naps, etc--but other than that, there really isn't a set time for anything anymore. I do try to start school at 9am and that usually happens. Lately, depending on the weather, I've been letting the girls play outside after Circle Time to get their wiggles out! I also try to do things in a certain order, but some days that doesn't happen either.

What we do now is the next thing. We start out with Circle Time and that takes however long it takes. Next, we do math, then we read, etcetera! etcetera! (It's really hard for me to say that without picturing Yule Brynner. Anyone else?)

I try not to let things drag out of course; that is, after all, the Charlotte Mason way. :)

Here's my new schedule for now: (click to enlarge) (here's the Scribd link; here's a blank one if you'd like to use it.)



Now, if our homeschool group meets on Thursday that week, I don't have to shift things around. I can just go to the next day. 

Another thing I added, which I love, is the "Other Weekly To-Do's" table at the bottom. I can list any events scheduled for that week and plan with that in mind.

You'll notice a Preschool section--it's optional because I only do school with Middlest (who's 4) when she wants to. It's never required. I do try to spend time with her before we start our school day and I try to let her pick what we do, but most days she wants to "do school" with us. :)

I'd like to print a bunch of these pages and have them spiral bound, but I'm afraid I'll change my mind again! Anyone else have that problem?

Here's a GREAT post on scheduling at Sage Parnassus; in that post, she links to this one at Afterthoughts. They are both worth your time; if you're homeschooling, that is. ;)

2/07/2015

What We're Reading: Picture Books

Here's a list of some picture books we've been reading.

The Boy Who Ran with Gazelles by Marianna Meyer - It surprised me, but my girls loved this book. I thought they might think it was odd, but maybe that's why they liked it? The illustrations are beautiful.
From Amazon: One day a small boy follows his pet gazelle into the vast desert.Though the entire village searches, all trace of the pair has disappeared. The boy and gazelle join a wild herd who come to care for the human child as one of their own...

We own The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Meyer and it's one of Oldest's favorites. Fun fact: Marianna Meyer was Mercer Meyer's first wife. (I wonder how many he's had?? I'm sure my husband would say one wife is enough for a lifetime. ;)


George Washington by Ingri D'Aulaire - This is one of our school books and we are all enjoying it. So far, we've loved the other history books by D'Aulaire that we've read; Benjamin Franklin and Pocahontas.
 

Snowy Valentine by David Petersen - This is a sweet, sweet book. The illustrations are so lovely--they give you that warm, fuzzy feeling. This was on our library's Valentine shelf and I'm glad we picked it up. It's about a rabbit who goes on a search for the perfect Valentine's Day gift for his wife.




Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg - Oldest loved reading this aloud to her siblings. There's a nursery rhyme character hiding on each page. It was cute to hear Oldest giggle while she was reading it. :)




Milly and Tilly by Kate Summers - This is a sweet adaptation of The Town Mouse and Country Mouse. I've read some really twaddly versions, and this is not one of those! I was able to pick it up at a local library book sale for fifty cents(!) and it was Christmas present to Middlest.




1 + 1 = 5 and Other Unlikely Additions by David LaRochelle - Now what kind of homeschooling mom would I be if I didn't check out a living math book from time to time? This was another good book for Oldest to read aloud to her sister.


 The Mousery by Charlotte Pomerantz - Oh. my. This is quite the gem of a book! It was another that I picked up from the aforementioned book sale. This book is soooo loverly.

It's about two old mice who just want to be left alone in their Mousery! They turn a few visitors away until one day they find a few baby mice who need a home. One thing leads to another and they end up keeping the baby mice. Then lo, and behold! their hearts are changed forever. We all swooned over the illustrations and precious story. Highly recommend this one!
 
Don't you just want to crawl inside these pages?


The Valentine Bears by Eve Bunting - First I have to mention that it makes me one. proud. mama. when my 6 year old gets excited because the illustrator is Jan Brett! A girl after my own heart, that one.  

This is another one we picked up from our Valentine shelf at our local library and were not disappointed. A sweet story of how a Mrs. Bear wakes up early from her hibernation so she can celebrate Valentine's Day with Mr. Bear.

 Where Do They Go? Insects in Winter by Millicent Selsam - I found out about this author via Ambleside Online. Her books are recommended free reading for Year 1. It turned out that we already owned a book by Selsam--How to be a Nature Detective!


 A First Look at Whales by Millicent Selsam - Middlest really loved this book. It tells you how you can distinguish between different kind of whales. That's a handy thing for a girl from Wisconsin to know! ;)



What picture books have you been reading with your wee ones?