Tuesday, December 23, 2008

She's walking!!!

Autumn is walking. She started about a week ago...but now she is getting up by herself and just doing it. She is so adorable! It is amazing how no matter how many children you have...you get just as excited as the first time you have seen it. She has also started signing more. Now she is signing-milk, diaper, Daddy, and today she signed more.

I am so blessed to have her...what a great surprise God gave us!
video


video

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Christmas Dream Ballet






Last night, we went to see The Christmas Dream. It was absolutely beautiful! I have never been to a ballet before and I loved it! It was so professional and every part of it was just amazing. They even presented the gospel at the end and gave all the glory of their performance to Jesus! Some of our homeschool co-op went together as a field trip to this month's co-op.

My only down side was that it was soooo HOT! I don't know why they had it so hot but it was almost miserable. The girls complained a lot about that. But, considering we are so blessed it was not that bad...smile!

After the ballet, the girls were able to talk to the ballerinas. They were so nice and all smiles...even after all their hard work. I hope to go again next year...there seems like so much to see that I might have missed some things.

Hannah's Report

The girls are in a PE co-op....this year they asked all the kids to do a report on a famous athlete. Hannah chose Lindsay Davenport. Chad and her worked on it for several days. We thought she did a great job! Here is a picture of her with her poster presentation.



Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Is it really that close to Christmas!


This December seems to have flown by. This past week has been insanely crazy. Chad has been gone all weekend and most of the beginning of this week. He has been singing in the Christmas tour and doing mission work Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Tonight they are doing their homecoming from their Christmas tour. I have felt like a single mom for sure. Times like this seem to take their toll on both of us. I hate being apart but I know he is giving to the Lord and that makes it worth it.

We have been busy trying to do a few Christmas lessons before we take a break. We didn't do a lapbook this week, but we did a great unit study on the Nutcracker. We have read several different versions of the Nutcracker, so it has been neat to see variance in the different versions of it. I am reading them a longer one now. We are going to see the Christmas Dream put on by Ballet Magnificat. It is a Christian version of the Nutcracker set to the same Tchaikovsky music.

We have learned a great bit about Tchaikovsky, the man and his music. We listened to some of his famous works. There is a great site that teaches about composers (which we also learned what that was) and instruments: www.classicsforkids.com.

We ran into Target yesterday to kill some time between two errands we had to do and the girls saw some nutcrackers on the end display and they were so excited. They wanted to buy one...but we just couldn't fit one more decoration in our house...smile!

We read several books about ballet; the girls loved that! We also did some copywork and dictation out of one of our versions of the Nutcracker. We talked about the author E.T.A. Hoffman, the author of the original Nutcracker and the MouseKing.

We have tried to keep up with some phonics practice and some independent and guided reading even though we have slowed on our general studies.

Today, I had Hannah read numbers to one hundred-spelled out. Then, I had her write some numbers out with the correct spelling.

We've found this great new website called Brainpop Jr. We have been playing with the trial version...and the girls LOVE it. I have to see if we can manage the subscription. It's not too bad if you do it by the month...but we will have to see. Sometimes I just feel like I need something to fill in gaps I may be missing.

This will be our last week of school for a few weeks. Although, we will still be reading and doing some fun things. We have limited our TV viewing so much and I am thrilled about that. The girls are starting to really contribute to the household chores so that takes up some of their time. Hannah has been cleaning out the dishwasher and Mikayla helping to wipe down the table after supper and folding some laundry. I feel like it is so important for them to be apart of life that happens here and see that even on days off, things still need to be done.

We did a few art projects this week. I will put up pictures of these soon. One we did with clear contact paper and tissue paper strips...the other a cute Nutcracker made out of a toliet paper roll.

Enough for now...need to feed our sweet dear one her milk and get her ready for bed!

Ps. She took her first steps last Sunday....not that she is running now...but oh how fun!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Our Snowman Picture


Mikayla's Snowman

Hannah's Snowman

We drew these cute snowmen. I am such a snowman lover...I just can't resist that with a combination of an art lesson. I really never knew how much I loved art until I felt the need to pass the torch from Mimi to the girls. I always thought art was important but now I find more of a need to pass it on. I never realized, I love to draw. I guess we just don't take the time out of our busy schedules to do those kinds of things. I am a great copier...not an original thinker most times...but it is fun anyways...why reinvent the wheel!

Anyhow...here are their and my drawings of a snowman. We did it with oil pastels which are really fun...and put it on black contruction paper. We were learning about perspective as the snowman is looking off. I don't know how much really stuck...but again...an introduction.

I found this great art site for kids: http://www.artprojectsforkids.org/2008/12/oil-pastel-snowman.html

I plan to use the site for many more of our projects.

Snow Days = No School! Yah!!!

Yesterday, we had the biggest snow I've ever seen! How crazy is that! We never have it snow in December here. The last time it did that, I was pregnant with Hannah. Wow! So anyways, we cut school these last two days and have enjoyed playing in the snow, making cookies, and watching Christmas shows!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Our first time leading a co-op class

Mikayla's SnowmanHannah's Snowman

The kid's snowman craft

The Cookie Swap

We had a fun morning leading co-op class today. We had a Christmas theme. We made snowmen out of water bottles, rice, fleece, rubber bands, pipe cleaners, and socks turned inside out. The kids seemed to enjoy making them. We also read the Nutcracker and A Christmas Dream. We are planning to see the Christmas Dream Ballet this month as our field trip. It is a Christian version of the Nutcracker. We learned two songs in sign language- Silent Night and Jingle Bells.
We also did a cookie swap that seemed to go well. Now we have way too many yummy cookies...lots of variety. It didn't rain like we thought it would, so the kids were able to go outside and play a bit. Some stayed in and colored some pictures of a Christmas Dream.

Yesterday, the girls helped me pour rice into individual bag. They had to use team work to help get it accomplished. I cut the fleece for them. Then we made sure we had everything we needed for the craft for today.

We also made ritz peanut butter crackers covered in chocolate and vanilla candy coating. Hannah did the vanilla and Mikayla did the chocolate. They had to count out how many we needed for three dozen. We began with how many are in a dozen. Then we had to do that three times for 36 cookies each. Then we had to double it because we needed two crackers for each sandwich. Then we realized we needed seventy-two crackers for each of them to have their three dozen cookies. I snuck a little math in yesterday.

I read them another version of the Nutcracker to get their opinion of which Nutcracker we should read to the co-op. They picked the shorter one of course.

Tomorrow we plan to do some Art projects and maybe cookie some cookies...yum! We will read a few more Christmas stories and maybe watch a Christmas movie. I need some ideas for Christmas math...hum...have to look that up!

Autumn was so sweet today to let me take a nap. She took a 2 hour nap...yah...normally she has a 30 min nap. I was hoping to just lay down for a min...but yah! I took a nap! Those are few and far between these days!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Our Christmas Parade


We won 2nd Place in the Parade!



The girls have been preparing for a while working with 4-H for their Pioneer Christmas. They were in the Christmas parade this last Friday night. It was sooooo cold. The girls had layers upon layers on underneath their costumes. This is the girls on the float with my dear friend Paula and her little girl. They look so "Little House" don't they? Our float won 2nd prize for the whole parade. We had a lot of parents and 4-Her's working very hard on the float! We will be singing at some nursing homes this week.

Finished with this week's Lapbooks

We finished up our night before Christmas Lapbooks. It has been a busy week for sure! It only gets busier! Here are their finished books. We also made pop up trees. Interesting for sure!


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Mikayla's Night Before Christmas Lapbook

Hannah's Night before Christmas Lapbook

Friday, December 5, 2008

Some of the girls Artwork from this last semester

Mikayla's Self Portrait from her last days in Kindergarten.
Mikayla's Rabbit
Mikayla's Panda from our China Study
Hannah's Rabbit
Hannah's Panda from our China Study

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mikayla's Santa


Here are two pictures that the girls drew today. I started them off with
a circle then gave them simple directions I found on the web for drawing a Santa and they took off with it. We used Oil Pastels for the first time today. Fun! This pictures is for our Night Before Christmas Lapbook. I had to color the rest of Mikayla's background b/c she got tired...smile! She started in green so I finished it up for her. I thought they followed the directions quite well...smile! I have budding little artist...in honor of their Mimi!

Hannah's Santa

Here is the site we used to follow the instructions for drawing the Santas...Click Here

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Its Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Ugggg...I am tired already. From the time we arrived home from Thanksgiving holidays in Tupelo, I have been running. Unpacking, laundry, planning school, keeping up with Christmas gifts, planning for co-op, feeding the babies, Upward's basket ball and cheerleading, Christmas parties, Homeschool meetings, parades to prepare for, I am wiped....I don't ever stop. We'll I guess you can call this a break...blogging!

Autumn is watching her new videos from Baby Signing Time...and lovin them. She is being sucked right in. She was so cute today, when I was on the phone with my Dad, I was telling him how she had started signing milk...then she signed it right after I said it. After months and months....finally!

So we came back home and I had nothing planned yet. So, Sunday night I dove right in to figure out what we would do for December. I decided we would take off doing our regular studying and do some fun theme things. First we started on our Candy Cane Lapbook. We learned about what a legend was and how candy canes were made.

Hannah's Lapbook

Mikayla's Lapbook

We learned some new vocabulary words: invitation, misery, confections, legend, lumber, tailor, gleaming and pure. We also learned about where the candy cane was thought to be first made in Cologne, Germany and about where it was first brought to the US in Wooster, Ohio. So we did a little geography lesson. For our Math, we made a graph with some candy counting.

We also studied the Bible verse Isaiah53:5 : By His stripes, we are healed. They had some copy work, by copying some of Psalms 23. Then we compared how a Shepperd was like Jesus. We talked about alliteration and how it was a repetition of beginning consonant sounds in two or more words or syllables that are close to one another in a sentence.

That was pretty much what we started studying Monday and Tuesday.

Today, we began a Lapbook on the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore. It brought back fond memories of the story of when I was a child being read this book. We talked more about similes and his use of them in the descriptions of Santa Clause. We did some rhyming practice with some of the words in the book. The girls cut out the reindeer pictures and alphabetized them. We talked about how the book was really a poem put into a book with illustrations. We discussed what a couplet was and found some examples in the book. We learned that it wasn't only about having a rhyming ending but also how the rhythm of the sentences needed to be about the same too.

We also took some key words from the night before Christmas and together came up with a story that I wrote while they dictated. They did a great job! We went over more vocabulary words that were in this book as well: Twas, Sugarplums, Nestled, Kerchief, Clatter, Sash, Coursers, Tarnished, Peddler, Droll, Dread, Ere. Some of these words I needed refreshing on...smile!

We also did a picture walk through The Little Drummer Mouse, then read it to see if what we thought the pictures were saying matched the story. We have been skimping on science this week, so we did a science folder that taught them the life cycle of a frog and butterfly. We also made candy pretzels so that has to count for something more than calories right???

We've also been taking off from our regular math books and doing some Christmas worksheets, practicing money and our addition facts.

Tomorrow we will be finishing up our Lapbook with reviewing our vocabulary words, doing a word search, drawing Santa, making a Christmas tree pop-up, doing a story sequence with sentence strips and writing Santa a letter (handwriting) and probably practicing our time.

We also will be preparing for our upcoming co-op that we will be hosting next week. Friday is the big Brandon Christmas parade. The girls are riding a float. They have been practicing for weeks. I am exhausted though.

I better get off and feed my sweet baby girl...she is crawling all over me. I will post the lapbook pictures when I have a breather!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Our Get Away



Every now and then, Chad and I try to get away for a weekend to bond again. You know how life gets crazy busy and you just sort of pass in the night. One of us is taking one to practice, the other is staying home getting the others ready for bed and getting supper cleaned up...just the normal everyday stuff. We usually only do one a year and try to keep it cheap because...well we have too! Earlier this year we went to a state park and I have to say that was our BEST getaway ever. We just kinda hung out...enjoyed God's creation and enjoyed each other's company instead of going all the time.

Thankgiving weekend, we decided to take another quick, cheap trip to Memphis. The kids stayed with Nana and Pappy. We are ever grateful for them being willing to keep all three! It wasn't the best time we've ever had, but it was good to get away for a while. Everything in Memphis was so expensive to do, so we just went to a couple of museums and then out to eat. We went to Sun Record Studio, where Elvis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis were discovered. They had an awesome tour guide who really made it worth it! We went to the famous Beale Street and ate. That wasn't so fancy. It was kinda neat learning the history of the blues and all. We also went to the rock and roll hall of fame museum. But everything was so touristy.

Here are a few pictures!


This is by the river at night. Just across the way we could see Arkansas. Isn't that weird that 20 min away was Mississippi, we were in Tennessee, and you could see Arkansas.
This is the resturant we ate at Friday night. This lady was just a singing the blues. It was kinda funny to listen to her. She almost sounded like she was in church trying to get an "amen" section going.
This is one view down Beale Street
This is a lamp at the other resturant we ate at on Saturday. How weird is that, that people signed the lamp.