Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Isn't it crazy how our kids are so different. I have one (the oldest) of course, who is pretty much independent in learning. I can give her a list of things she needs to do and she can tackle it with some help here and there. I have another one (the middle) that I have to watch at all times to make sure she stays on task. I wish this wasn't so frustrating but it so clashes with my independent nature. She is creative and an out-of-the box thinker so I try really hard not to squelch that in my need for her to be independent. The youngest...well she is just busy right now...I wonder if she will take on an older child style since she is so far apart from the middle one. Who knows...only time will tell.

We've been studying Italy this week. Just the basics mostly. We have highlighted some famous people from Italy. Today we read a good bit of a book about Leonardo da Vinci. I am sure he would have fit right into the Charlotte Mason approach to homeschooling...not by choice but just by the mere fate of his growing up. He traveled the country of Italy from relative to relative until finally his father realized he needed to be trained in some sort of vocation. I thought it great of his father (among thinking not so great of him for not putting his love and devotion into his son) that he saw the talent Leonardo had and found him an apprentice to study under.

Who knew that from this meager beginning Itatly would bring us one of the most famous artist of the Renaissance and of all time. I did not realize that Leonardo was not just an artist but a studier of life and that many of the drawings we have used in the medical field are from him because of the way he paid attention to fine details of life.

Anyhow, today we studied about Leonardo's interest in birds and aerodynamic and the way things fly. We made parachutes as a little activity to help re-reinforce what he studied.

Friday, April 24, 2009

An afternoon at the homeschool sale

So I took the books we no longer use to the homeschool sale. This was my first one to attend and first one to sell at. I made a whopping $6 and spent $10...but that is the way my life tends to go. I did end up picking up some books for free though so I guess that balances things out. I am excited about the book I bought though and look forward to reading it with the girls. The book is called The Princess and the Kiss. It is about God's gift of purity. I bought it from a friend that is in our homeschool group. After I looked at it a bit, I got really excited about it. It has a little lesson guide to go with it. I think I will take a break from our normal bible study and do this for a while. This is one reason I love homeschooling-having the freedom to talk about purity with my girls at anytime of the day.

After the sale, we stopped by Teacher's Aide. I haven't been there in years...I picked up a few things and let the girls pick something out. They picked out some Prang modeling clay. They were so cute with it tonight. They sat together at the table and made a little park out of it.

I have been reading this parenting book called 1-2-3 Magic for Christian Parents. It has been awesome with the girls. It really does feel like magic...even though I know its not. I would highly recommend it for effective discipline and motivating them to do things. We've just started it so I will have to review it again once we've had it in place for a while.

An afternoon of painting

The girls and I haven't started our Galloping back in the afternoons yet. This week we had one afternoon that we didn't have anything going on so we decided to paint some of Mimi's birdhouse's we brought back home with us after cleaning out her house in Florida. I am sure she probably got these at Joanne's and I am sure they were probably on a 90% off sale. She would have painted them with her artist touch, however, we painted them in her honor...maybe not like she would have...but I am sure she would have loved them just the same. She always was supportive of whatever art the girls did just because they tried.

I painted the big one, Hannah painted the little one with the bench and Mikayla painted the two little ones. We will put them in our little flowerbed outside once I give them a good coat of sealant.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Where does the time go?

What happened to the time...? We have been off school for a week. The girls have had co-ops and classes this past week. Last Tuesday they went to a recycling co-op where they learned so much about the types of recycling and how to take care of the world God gave us. Wednesday, the had art class where they made these really cute candy dishes out of clay pots. Thursday they had PE co-op and learned about Tennis. They had fun at that one and even came home a little scraped!

Mikayla was suppose to do her oral report on her famous athlete. She chose Shawn Johnson, a famous Olympic gymnast. Hannah ended up doing it for her though since Mikayla hurt herself. I felt sad because she worked so hard on it...but that is alright.

Today we went to the Natural Science Museum. The girls had a blast. We picnicked afterward then went to visit Chad at work. The girls were so excited to see again where he worked. Chad loves to show his girls off.

We haven't done any galloping this week. We will begin that again next week. I believe we will be studying Italy. The girls had a great time in our study in France. We learned a good bit.

Today since we went on our field trip we just did 30 min of silent reading and a math drill sheet. This just means we will do school on Friday which is no big deal.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The yard

Hannah planted some Cosmos seeds. We have planted them in the ground...hopefully they will be beautiful!

We have planted some Forsythia shrubs, Lantana, Blue Saliva, Dwarf Gardenia, Shasta daisies, Lavender, a Banana tree, Gaura, yellow Jasmine, wispy grass and Lavender.

I am hoping to get over to a friends to dig in her yard finding some honeysuckle, day lilies and another shrub.

I want to build a terracotta pot bird bath but we will have to wait on that. The girls and I are going to be making some homemade bird feeders to go back there as well. I am hoping to attract some wildlife in this cookie cutter neighborhood we live in. I would love to see butterflies, humming birds and such come visit us.

Another goal of ours is to create a little bit of privacy since right now you can see right up into our neighbors house. Hopefully the shrubbery will give a filtering screen for us and them.

We have also planted a Red Sunset Maple in the front yard. We've already seen it bloom from just a trunk and stem...exciting!

Monday, April 13, 2009


The girls before Church. Autumn showcasing her beautiful black eye. She fell and hit the bottom part of our boxspring on our bed. I was so sad for her...

Autumn's first Easter...we spent it at Chad's parents. We did an Easter Egg hunt in the front yard. We worked on a Resurrection Egg Lapbooks the week before Easter and finished them up after Easter. I will get pictures of that up soon.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Working in the backyard

This was what it was looking like...just from the digging, laying dirt and mulch...

This has taken a good bit of our time lately. We still have to work on the grass and wait for our newly planted flowers and shrubs to mature...but I think it will turn into a beautiful backyard at some point...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Monet Paintings

As we studied France, we learned a good bit about Monet and his impressionist art. The girls tried their hand at a little painting themselves .

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Busy...busy weekend

Well, we are all sunburned. If you know me at all...I normally lather my children several times during our outdoor playtime. Spring snuck up on me and bit us all hard. We were out at the ball field taking pictures for the softball team and then we had practice. Why didn't it dawn on me to put sunscreen on them in the middle of the day? We are all paying for it now. All of us down to Autumn are sunburned...but fortunatly she is only a little bit.

We came home (not knowing we were sunburned at the time) and began working in our backyard. We are putting in a bed of shrubs and a few flowers in our tiny back yard. It is a mess back there now and we are having a late freeze so we didn't end up planting anything so as to not lose any of our plants.

Our dear friends came over with their tiller and helped us till up a good bit of the bed. We didn't realize the yard was still muddy underneath and fortunatly we didn't mess up the tiller...but it sure did turn the back yard into muck.

Chad worked so hard back there getting the beds ready...but we still have a long way to go...we will post pics as we can.


We have galloped into France and will be ending our stay there tomorrow. We will be taking a break from our traveling next week to do an Easter Resurrection Lapbook. Then it will be our week off or not...I am still contemplating that.

So...what did we do in France this week? I have to remind myself...this is just introducing them to the world around us and it isn't important that we cover everything or person...just a few highlights and where it is in our world.

We started off the week as usual-reading about France by reading a book called Focus on France. We colored the flag and learned that much of their flag they based off our American flag. Interesting. We learned the capital was Paris and that it was a very famous city. We talked about the kind of food they ate and named a few like french bread and wine. We learned that the Seine river ran through Paris.

We also learned about many famous people: Napoleon Bonapartem, a very famous general that changed the way the government was run, Louis Pasteur, Joan of Arc, Claude Monet, the impressionist (we've been reading Linnea in Monet's garden-a great book for introducing children to Monet), Louis Braille-inventor of our Braille, and Marie Curie-scientist who discovered radium for treating cancer patients. Several of these people we read about and then followed using the Library's Nest Video collection of biographies.

We learned that after the Eiffel Tower was built for the World's Fair in Paris, France, they wanted to tear it down. It was the tallest building in the world until the building of the Empire State Building forty years later.

We studied trees and leaves this week as the science portion of Galloping. We read a book about trees and tomorrow we will be doing more activities related to trees and their growth process. We are also watching our seeds grow that we planted on Friday. Although, we are down one, as Autumn has found our hiding spot.

We will finish up our study of France tomorrow and then after our break we will be going to Italy. Tomorrow I hope to have the girls outside to do their own version of Impressionist painting like our Monet did.