Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Yay for Home Movies!!

Yes, I am still uploading video and as I promised I am posting them here as I get them up.

I really love this video. This was taken the first time my grandma and grandpa saw and held Joey. I really enjoy seeing my grandpa with babies. He is like a big ol' teddy bear! I will treasure this video forever. Joey was about a week old here. Enjoy!

I promise there is more to come!


Monday, September 22, 2008

New Video of Joey

Ok, here is another video as promised...

This one is of Joey learning how to play with his rattle and hold onto it really well. Enjoy!


Sunday, September 21, 2008

New Home Video of Joey

Well, I managed to get one of several videos uploaded to YouTube today as promised!  This one is a pretty long one of Joey showing off his vocal range.....Enjoy!  By the way, this was the last 5 minutes of him 15 minute tirade!  it's a miracle the lil' guy didn't get hoarse!

More to come soon!


Saturday, September 20, 2008

HS Memoirs #5 - My Favourite Things..

Since I’ve been making you work really hard on the previous Memoir themes I decided to take a little break, and do something fun! This week I want to invite you to share a few of your favourite things - er - sites. I know the list of favourite things could be never-ending, but I’ve made a list for you to do regarding your favourite homeschool things. Just copy this list and add your favourites underneath the appropriate category. BUT by all means you’re welcome to add your other favourite things on the post as well!

Magazines/Carnivals - in print or online

Freebie sites - any sites that offer freebies or often have giveaways
Homeschool news/informative
Forums/book clubs
Networking, Blog “About” (sites that offer tech-support or tutorials for computer/internet) & Quick Links
Mom site - sites just for moms / Homemaking
Inspirational/encouraging/motivational - (see above list)

Memes - the ones I participate in you can find in my sidebar -->
      Homeschool Method - sites that offer a lot of info on a certain method
Family blog - sites that give you a glimpse into another family’s life, run by a family

  • Just click on the link at the top of my sidebar that says "View my complete profile" and it will bring up a verrry long list of blogs I follow
Businesses, particularly homebased
I apologize but I don't have any bookmarked and can't think of any from the top of my head.
Hope you enjoy the links!

Weekly Update - 9/20/08

So, welcome to the new blog! I hope you like it as I have worked very hard to get it just the way I want it! I had a few problems on the prior site getting certain things to work correctly, so I wanted something a bit more flexible.

Being that I spent my spare blogging time last week getting this blog set up, I didn't get to post any new entries. I have a ton of videos to transfer onto my PC and then upload to youtube and I will be working on that tomorrow, so keep an eye out for those soon!

Yesterday, I took Joey to his 4-month check-up with the pediatrician. On one hand, I was very excited to find out how much he had grown over the past 2 months. On the other hand, I was dreading the appointment because I knew he would be getting more immunizations :( . Then it ended up that Bobby was still not home from his run in time to go with us, so I had to do the whole thing alone. Luckily, my friend E came and stayed with Drew and Isaiah and let me take her car to the Dr., so it was just me and lil' man.

Bobby and I were guessing he would weigh between 13 and 14 lbs. Boy was I surprised to find out the lil' chunk weighs 15lbs. 5.5 oz.! Now I don't feel like such a big baby whining about my increase in daily back pain. And to top it off, he is now 25.75" long. But what really shocked me was to learn that with all the growing he has done in just 2 short months, he is still only in the 50th percentile for height and weight. And as for his lil' noggin, only the 10th percentile. Though you wouldn't know it to look at him, he looks well proportioned to me (for a baby)! So the Dr. checked him over and asked the typical questions and said he was doing excellent. Which was, of course, no surprise to this proud momma!

I am sad to say that this proud momma has been a very tired and discouraged momma this week. I have so much around here that I just can't seem to keep up with and it is becoming increasingly annoying. I find myself doing things in 5-10 minute intervals between making meals, feeding bottles to Joey, changing diapers and settling disputes between sibs. And that's just not nearly enough time to get much of anything done! So the state of things around here are just getting worse and worse, including my level of frustration. The laundry is overflowing every basket and hamper, the dishes are constantly piled up, I can't seem to keep bottles clean, the boys' things keep managing to migrate downstairs, the school room is in disarray and the upstairs is badly in need of vacuuming. This is just what I know off the top of my head. There's lots more that needs to be done but I can't even see the big picture right now. I am trying very hard to just look at the mess in bite sized doses, since that is the way in which it must be tended to. The main reason for all this chaos is the absence of my dear hubby this week. He has barely been home long enough to sleep in between runs this week. Which means I have had no help with Joey and no breaks to regain my sanity. Which also means I haven't been the best mommy I can be either. That is the absolute worst part about it. One of these days I pray I will daily be my best for my kiddos, regardless of my mood. But for now God is still working on me.

On another note, Wednesday was Isaiah's birthday! he is now officially 7! We were going to have a party today, but since Bobby got offered a decent run, we decided it would be best that he take it and postpone the party til next weekend. He has requested a Star Wars cake (chocolate of course) so I have a pretty good idea of how I'm going to decorate it. I can't believe he is 7! How fast time flies. I will be sure to post more when we have his party and plenty of photos, too!

Well, I am now rambling and I finding my thoughts are getting quite fuzzy as I go, so I will cut this short and promise to post more tomorrow (complete with videos)! Til then...


Friday, September 19, 2008

In Pursuit of Proverbs 31 Bible Study

This 10 week study will consist of the following:

Proverbs 31 - Shattering the Myths
The True Woman of Proverbs 31
Proverbs 31 on Relationship With God
Proverbs 31 on Being a Wife
Proverbs 31 on Being a Mother
Proverbs 31 on Management
Proverbs 31 on Resourcefulness
Proverbs 31 on Ministry
Proverbs 31 on Matters of the Soul
Proverbs 31 and YOU!!

This study will be presented each Monday over the next 10 weeks, God willing, and you will be able to share your responses, thoughts, answers to questions, or related scripture on your blogs and link to it via Mr. Linky. If you do not have a blog then you are more than welcome to enter your responses in the comments section or simply do them at home on your own time.

For this introduction post, I would like for everyone who intends to participate to post about it on their blog and answer the following thought provoking questions:

What do you hope to get out of this bible study?

I hope to become a better Christian, woman, wife and mother and to grow in relationship to the Lord.

What, if anything, has prevented you from studying these scriptures in the past?

I have studied them and even read books based upon them. I just seem to forget the importance of them unless I study them regularly.

What have you found helpful or frustrating about living out these scriptures?

I often feel as though I can never live up to them, but at the same time they help me to see my own shortcomings and motivate me to be better than I am.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Weekly update - 9/8/08

Well it's been a while since I actually posted an update so it's well overdue. Last week was hectic. Joey started really teething. His bottom two middle teeth are working on coming in. You can feel a hard bump and his gums are lighter there in that spot. He had a rough time the first 3 days but seems to be doing better now. He had the typical congestion and diarrhea. I think it's either hurting him less or he is just adjusting to the discomfort. I felt lost because my usually happy, smiling baby boy was nowhere to be found, I am so glad to have him back! We did manage to FINALLY get some video of him giggling. This was caught at the end of my tickling attack....

I just love his giggle!! Though you have to catch him at the right moment in the right mood to really get a good one out of him. Just the other night I was getting his bath ready while daddy was playing with him in the bedroom. The boys were in there too. For some reason, Drew was hopping around being silly and it cracked Joey up! It was the most I have ever heard him laugh. It was a shame I wasn't able to get the camera, but I am sure I will get another chance soon. Here are some more new pics...

And he said he wouldn't be caught dead wearing "that thing"
And he said he wouldn't be caught dead wearing it...

yes, those are baby moobs that you see...such a chunk!
Yes, those are baby moobs that you see...such a chunk!
Not quite enough hair yet for a good mohawk..but we tried anyway!
Not quite enough hair yet for a mohawk...but we had fun trying anyway!

I have some more videos to upload to youtube, prob later this week when I get the time. I bought Joey a pair of 6-9 month jammies today and they fit good.. a little too good. He is only 4 months old!! It's not fair : (

I don't have much to update as far as school goes. We had a pretty relaxed week. We did some nature journaling spurred by the boys obsession with a crabapple tree by our building...

Here is Drew working on his drawing
Here is Drew working on his drawing

and here is what thier finished pages looked like (I filled out the info)
and here is what thier finished pages looked like (I filled out the info)
Here is Drew's finished drawing
Here is Drew's drawing of a branch from the tree

and here is Isaiah working on his drawing
and here is Isaiah working on his drawing

We had a lot of fun figuring out what kind of crabapple tree it was and looking info up on the Internet. I think they enjoyed choosing their branches and drawing them the most. This was our first attempt at nature journaling and I think we may do it more often.

Other than that, we played some file folder games, did some math and reading and I worked some more on my homeschool recordbook. I am working on finding a more efficient way of keeping grades and things. I love my Homeschool tracker program, but honestly, I spend way too much time working in it. I am in the process of making my own forms and things so that all I have to do is jot something down. Lately I feel as though I have spent more time doing records and prep than actually teaching.

Overall we had a good week, though we got very little done school wise. But we managed to get the house cleaned in one day with everyone having jobs assigned to them and I managed to get a handle on Mt. Laundry. (though I have yet to get it all put away.) And with Joey being cantankerous, I didn't have much time where I wasn't tending to him. I am learning all about the challenges of homeschooling with a baby first hand. It's tough but I am learning to adjust the way we do things in order to accommodate everyone's needs. We still have a long way to go, but we will get there!

I hope you all had a blessed week! Til next time....


Thursday, September 4, 2008

BFS Assignment #100 - Oh What a Feeling!

Blogger Friend School Assignment for 9/1/08

Assignment: Take time this week to write about YOU and your feelings of trials and triumphs with homeschooling. Touch on when you first heard about the concept of home schooling and whether you tip-toed into the idea or just jumped in and never looked back. Share your schooling as a child and how you compare it to what your goals are for your children.

I am very excited to join this meme group!

I have touched before upon our journey into homeschooling in a previous post. I wrote:
We have been homeschooling since our oldest son, now 8, was 4. It was not planned to be a permanent plan at the time, nor did we refer to it as homeschooling, but after learning more about it, I was hooked on it! We have been doing it and loving it since! Originally we started because we could not afford traditional preschool, then it was because we didn’t want our children to attend the school we lived by at the time and couldn’t afford private school. Now it is because we believe this is the way God meant for our children to learn and grow closer in relationship to Him. I can’t imagine sending my children off to school for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week to have a complete stranger teach them about life. I am selfish and I want my husband and I to be the strongest influence in their lives.

My trials with homeschooling have been many, but with prayer and perseverance, we have overcome many of them. The rest we are still working on! I would say my biggest trial is getting it all done. I have high expectations for our homeschool and there are many times we don't live up to those expectations. Another trial I face on a regular basis is finding creative ways to make our learning fun. I have incorporated a lot of hands on activities into our lessons such as lapbooks, notebooking, manipulatives and file folder games. We try to do at least one fun project a week to keep things interesting and give the boys something to look forward to. I also struggle with knowing what to do when one of the boys has trouble with something we are learning. I tend to research and read as much as I can to help them as much as possible with the things that are challenging for them.

As far as my biggest triumphs, I would have to say that recently, it has been my realization that I need to spend less time planning and keeping records and more time teaching. As I shared above, i struggle with getting it all done and I have for years. So the simple answer for me is to lessen my workload. I am also recruiting the children to help me more with everyday jobs so that I have more time to do those things I need to. Another of my biggest triumphs was when I realized I didn't have to use a "box curriculum". Just because I use a particular publisher for math, doesn't mean I have to buy all that publisher's subject material! I have since learned to use a very eclectic mix of materials and methods, taking what works for us and dumping the rest. I have definitely become a "tweaker". And I have taken it a step further this year and making my own interest led science units. We are really excited about it.

When I think about my school experience compared to that of my children's, it makes me glad that I am able to spend so much time with them. I am able to see their eyes light up when they "get it". I know, in detail, what their strengths and weaknesses are. I can tailor their learning experiences to their own unique learning styles and interests. I really loved school until about the 4th grade. For some reason it was then that my enthusiasm fizzled out. I refuse to let that happen for them. I will always make it a priority to make sure that they enjoy school and learning as much as possible! My goals for my children are very different from the goals the public school system sets. First and foremost, I want them to have a lifelong relationship with Jesus and I want that relationship to determine how they choose to live their lives. More than cramming them full of facts and figures, I desire to ingrain love for God, a love of learning, a love for books and the ability to stand up for their beliefs. I don't think any of these goals were set for me when I was in school many years ago, and I am sure things haven't changed now.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Homeschool Memoirs #3 - Routines

I am sure some of you are still getting into your homeschool routines. I know some people are very routine oriented while others may be more “day-by-day”, and it all depends on your family and what works best for your life-style. This week please post what your planned homeschool routine is. The theme banner should give you some ideas on how to do that. I had fun making that and adding in real info (except for the times! lol).

When you’re done posting your routines please share
your prayers for this school year, and then sign the linky so others can visit.
Ok, this is hard for me because I am still trying to figure out our "routine". It definitely varies from day to day depending on whether I am babysitting or we have errands to run. My hubby's scedule also affects what we do from day to day.
With all the different circumstances we encounter from day to day around here, I have recently decided to take a more relaxed approach to our school days. On the days when I watch my friends toddler, we do lessons in between his and Joey's naps until he leaves for the day. Then we try to get some more things done in the evening before dinner.

But I can share with you what our IDEAL routine would be.... who knows, maybe we will get into a routine similar to this after we find our niche. Just a note, we do not schedule blocks of time per subject. Rather we schedule blocks of time for lessons and try to get done as much as possible in that period of time.

  • 7 am - Mom gets up and feeds Joey

  • 8-9:30 am - Mom's pc time and a couple loads of laundry

  • 9:30 am - Boys get up (sometimes earlier) and eat and have free time, I tend to Joey (by now he has usually had his morning nap and woken up) and try to get things done around the house as I can

  • 10 am - Mom feeds Joey his second bottle and he is usually ready for a nap soon afterwards

  • 11am - Mom preps lessons for the day and boys complete some work with my help periodically

  • 12:30 pm - Lunch

  • 1 pm - Mom feeds Joey lunch and has playtime with him, then lays him down for a short nap

  • 2 pm - Lessons resume for as long as we are able (usually no more than an hour or so)

  • 3 pm - Mom gets housework done and boys have free time (they usually play with Joey for a bit to help me out)

  • 4 pm - Mom feeds joey his fourth bottle

  • 4:30 pm - More lessons as time allows

  • 6 pm - Make and eat dinner

  • 7 pm - Joey eats again

  • 8:30 pm - Joey has a bath and dresses for bed

  • 9pm - Mom feeds Joey his cereal and he goes to bed for the night, kids have showers and clean rooms, dress for bed

  • 9:30 pm - Mom reads to kids, Kids to bed, Mom cleans up kitchen and has free time

  • 11:30 pm - Mom to bed
The above is a very loose routine (not a strict schedule) that I would like to stick to, though the ability has eluded me to this point! But we will keep trying!

Dear Father,

This year Lord, please help me to focus on what's really important. Please bless me with the energy and discipline to do what needs to be done. Help me to let go and follow Your leading for my life and the lives of my children. Help me to enjoy every day to it's fullest and to embrace every opportunity to teach my children. Thank You Lord, that You are with me. Amen.

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