Friday, May 27, 2011

Tank's First Hair Cut

Tank finally got his hair cut. His hair has been pretty curly lately so I really didn't want to cut it, but they hubby was really wanting it cut. So I bit the bullet. When I cut Turbo's he was only like 13 or 14 months, and had hardly any hair and it was so light. Tank was 19 months and had A LOT of hair to cut!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

You Can Read!

In struggling with Turbo and school, I resorted to the age-old idea. Find someone who can help!

I asked many, many, many friends/family for their thoughts, suggestions, ideas, ANYTHING! So many good ideas came out of those conversations and brainstorming ideas, that I realized that Homeschooling is not just the mom and dad schooling the kiddos, but EVERYONE in our lives will have some input in some way.

I went back to my most favorite blog/website of a homeschooling mom who was a Kindergarten teacher in her "prior" life, who now schools her 3 kiddos at home. Her two youngest are pretty much the same ages as Turbo and Tank. You can visit her site HERE.

She offers so many great things and has branched off into so many different directions that she has pretty much anything and everything you need. And it is ALL FOR FREE! There are a few sections where she asks for payment, but it is only like $5 or $10. Which is practically nothing.

But I visited her newly written curriculum called, YOU CAN READ. It is a beginning reader curriculum that offers hands on activities for my Turbo to do while introducing 4 new Site Words for each unit. We have been working on this for the past week and have put off our other stuff to get Turbo excited about school again. It has WORKED!

The greatest thing about this is that I found these letter rods that Turbo can build while practicing these words! For $3 at a garage sale last weekend!!

We still do the FIAR off and on and once I get all my books checked out from the library on space, we will begin that as well.

I have decided to continue school through the summer but on more of a low-key basis, as, SURPRISE, SURPRISE, Turbo functions better on a schedule anyway.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Lastes Photo Shoots

Check out some of my latest photo sessions! Sometimes it is good to have a hobby

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It's like Christmas in...err..MAY!

I finally made a decision about the curriculum we will use next year for Turbo and Tank. Although Tank will not quite be 2 yet, I wanted to start implementing "school" time, or TOT School, which is just a concentrated time with him on 1-2 activities.

With Turbo; however, I needed to go back to square one. As the months went on and I continued to bump him up to the next level, I found that he was getting frustrated with the work, because we didn't spend the needed time focusing and building his foundation on the previous grade level.

After speaking with many others, including my sister-in-law, I decided to keep him on the Kindergarten level until I was completely confident of his mastery of the skills needed for 1st Grade work.

I decided to go with My Father's World It includes Reading, Math, Science, Bible, Creative Thinking, Character Development, Children's Literature and Art. Everything I need is sent to me. I decided to not get the package that included books. I figured I could supplement those with library books. If I find that it is inconvenient, I will purchase that package at a later date.

We have grown caterpillars into butterflies before and we get to do it again! We are, right now, growing tadpoles into frogs (ick!) and now we get to have an ant farm! Joyous sounds erupt from my body as I think about have bugs and insects and a freak of nature crustacean in my home! (For those of you familiar with our hermit crab, Spidey, who is living beyond his "guaranteed" months without much care or nurture.)

For Tank, I purchased the Toddler package which introduces numbers 1 to 5, activities that help to develop concentration and attention span, sorting by color and shape, and to help develop fine motor and visual discrimination skills. (obviously taken from the catalog description!)

Apparently, Tank thinks that these school toys are just for sitting on as he is completely unaware that his freedom will be lost inside of 4 months!

While we won't start this until August and Turbo will probably be done with it by January or so, and Tank bored of the toys by oh...OCTOBER! LOL! I think this will be a great way to introduced all the subjects I want for the boys but in a Biblical-sound way.

During the summer, I will be using Five In A Row (Turbo) and Before Five In A Row (for Tank), with some unit studies such as space and marine life animals. We will begin space next week as I have some fun ideas to make this summer a blast!

Writing a postcard in German

Turbo und ich wollen Deutsch lernen. Sein Vati und ich werden nach Deutschland nächsten Sommer dabei sein, den Jahrestag unseres 15 Jahres zu feiern. Wir haben Familie, wer dort, Friz und Inge leben. Turbo ist Briefpartner mit Inge gewesen, und er wollte in ihrer Sprache dieses Mal schreiben. Leider für mich weiß ich nicht, wie man schreibt oder sogar German spricht. Deshalb haben wir eine Übersetzungswebsite verwendet. Ich bin darin nicht überzeugt es ist Genauigkeit, wie ich sicher bin, dass, was ich auf Englisch schreibe, bestimmt nicht ist, was ins Deutsche übersetzt wird! Ich sollte auch versuchen zu lernen Tschechisch sprechen, wie das ist, wo mein Bruder und seine Braut leben. Aber Tschechisch ist Weg zu hart! Ich sollte wahrscheinlich versuchen, eine leichtere Sprache zu lernen, bevor ich auf Tschechisch einbreche!


Turbo and I want to learn German. His dad and I will be going to Germany next summer to celebrate our 15 year anniversary. We have family who live there, Friz and Inge. Turbo has been pen pals with Inge and he wanted to write in her language this time. Unfortunately for me, I do not know how to write or even speak German. Therefore, we have used a translation website. I'm not confident in it's accuracy, as I am sure that what I am writing in English is definitely not what will be translated into German! I should also try to learn to speak Czech as this is where my brother and his bride live. But Czech is way to hard! I should probably try to learn an easier language before I bust out in Czech!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Nerf Gun Spelling

Being the end of the school year, Turbo is getting pretty tired of table top work. In fact, I am getting tired of table top work.

So this morning, I decided to shake things up a bit. Using our BOB Books, I put about 12-15 different letters used in the books and asked him to use his Nerf Gun to shoot the letters of the word given to him in order. Then using the window crayons, he was to write the words on the window.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Mother's Day

My hubby bought me a Kindle and a plane ticket to North Carolina's Atlantic Beach for Mother's Day. I would definitely recommend this trip!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Spring Activities

This spring we have done a lot of things to celebrate spring and the rebirth of life.

We bought this kit at the local hardware store. It comes complete with a dehydrated dirt pellet and grass seed. Add water and you're read to go. They are super cute with their grass hair, but each time I want to snap a picture of them, for some reason, hair cuts have been given. EACH TIME!!

I saw this in a Parent/Kids magazine and thought it would be super fun to do. After planting ivy you use floral wire to make a letter (i.e. initials of the kids). As the ivy grows, you are to train it to wrap around the letter so it looks like a well-sculpted initial. What I did not expect was how LONG it takes for ivy to grow. So this picture was taken in like March. Here it is May, and there really is NOT a difference in the growth. Guess we'll check back on the progress of this NEXT year.

This is probably my least favorite of spring time activities. Last year, Turbo and I raised butterflies. I can handle butterflies. This year, while looking to order the caterpillars again, Turbo was with me and he saw frogs. UGH. After a tremendous amount of begging and pleading, and that was on my part, we bought the tadpoles. It will take these "things" to grow into adult frogs 12-16 weeks. We have to change their water 2-3 times a week. I'm tellin' ya...nasty lil' suckers. But Turbo loves them. They are called Hopper and Skipper. Tank just signs fish all day long.

Finally, during Easter, we cracked open an egg and examined what is inside of an egg and all of it's parts. Turbo was pretty confused on how a chick is "cooked" inside of the egg, but on child-like faith he took my word for it. Although, he is pretty set on getting a chick for a pet. Yeah, right...I'll run right out there and get one, along side your freak of nature hermit crab that still lives over a year when I was guaranteed only 6 months, and the nasty tadpoles...yeah, I'll get right on that.

We have done plenty more examinations of spring, but I can't find the pictures and those tadpoles are freakin' me out right now as they splash in the water...ugh...

Revelation from seashells

For Mother's Day this year, my hubby booked a vacation to Atlantic Beach, NC. What priceless awesomeness that was!

For many, sleeping in on vacation is of primary importance. Unfortunately for me, I missed that memo and would walk along the shoreline with my coffee and camera well before there were stirrings in the place along side of me in our hotel bed.

My morning walks would consists of deep breathing and the quietness of the morning, which unfortunately evade our home in the early morning hours with our lovely boys. My prayer time would consist of rants, raves, frustrations, woes, pity me and fix my life kind of garble. But what I began to realize in my lists of what was uncomfortable and not satisfying in my life turned into something different.

Being a stay at home mom, the monotony of the day-in-and-day-out list of chores, and schedules can become, well, monotonous. Boring. Unspontaneous. Frustrating. Depressing. Pitiful. You get the picture. I do enjoying being able to stay at home. I am greatly blessed because of it. But when there are no words of thankfulness, or appreciation, or gratitude, the job becomes filled with bitterness and self-pity.

I was at that place before we left. My prayer times reflected that. It was becoming all to obvious that I needed a revelation or an epiphany, anything! I just needed an attitude adjustment!

As I was walking, I would look for the "perfect" seashell. They were all perfect in their own way, but I was on a mission for the "SPECIAL" one. We were there for 2 mornings and 2 evenings. Each day I would go in search of it. And every time I would not find "it", but I found new ones that were not there the day before. Or even just a few hours before!

Then it hit me! Although I was on the same beach, each time I would take the same path, the shells would be different. It occurred to me that this shoreline was my every day! But every day was different. There were different shells! Different things to see! Different things to explore! Shouldn't I be doing the same thing for me and my family! God wants to show me something new everyday, but instead I am looking down and wallowing in my pit instead of looking for something that is different!

The advantage that I have staying at home with the boys is that we get to share this experience together and enjoy creation around us! It is new each day! Just because my laundry pile doesn't seem to end. Or the dishes are never done. Or the fridge needs to be filled yet again, doesn't mean that I have to miss the newness of the day!

All this to say, enjoy the day, because with it brings new life.