And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Schooling Update

We are well into week 4 of our official homeschooling year. It has been going really well! I have started Speedy on a letter of the week curriculum. I have found great resources on my favorite blogs and by googling different things I have been looking for. He is learning so much already! This feels like a huge success for me because he has been largely uninterested in any type of learning until recently.

Apple is doing so excellent! I think the time we spent schooling last fall and spring really has paid off! She understands that school time is a special time and she is really enjoying it! She is zooming right along in her HOP 1st grade. I have really been incorporating their free online worksheets this time around. There are fun activities for each unit and lesson. I have really tried to round out our studies beyond just phonics and math. She spends time each week on phonics, math, handwriting, social studies, science, geography, art, music, and pe.

She also began soccer for the first time recently. No games yet, but she has had several practices and two minicamps. She is still getting the hang of it but I am so proud of her for playing even in the EXTREME heat we were having. Praise the Lord it is cooler this week and we have really tried to enjoy it!

Apple is also so excited because at church she moved up into the Daisies class! She has 2 great teachers and a class of little girls that she has known for some time and is good friends with each of them!

I found 2 great websites this morning I will share with you. They are both handwriting resources. Apple needs more practice added into her regular activities.

http://www.handwritingworksheets.com/
http://www.handwritingforkids.com/handwrite/manuscript/alphabets/index.htm

How is your school year going so far?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Grandma

Patsy 1932-2010

You will be missed Grandma Pat! Thank you for the hugs, the yard sales, the episodes of Golden Girls, the peanut butter and marshmallow fluff graham crackers, the love of Elvis, and all the wonderful memories! Thank you for all the love you gave to me and my children. Thank you for opening your home to me for so many years. I love you and will miss you.

Uganda



My husband's words about his first missions trip:

"I have just returned from my first international missions trip. I accompanied several others along with the Union Lady Bulldogs to Uganda, Africa. The beds were uncomfortable, the showers were cold, there was no air conditioning, the bugs were huge, and none of that mattered. GOD blessed this trip in ways that I could have never dreamed possible. I was given the gifts of being surrounded by beautiful scenery, tasting wonderful food, feeling the longing touch of tiny hands on my arms and face, smelling the sweet, thick fragrance of exotic flowers, and being awakened by the strange calls of unfamiliar birds.




All of the inconveniences reminded me of the team’s goal. However, for every uncomfortable moment that kept me on track there seemed to be two new and wonderful experiences that enhanced my stay in Uganda. Before I left for Africa, I was a little apprehensive about being separated from my family for 10 days. I was a little nervous about taking my first plane ride. Of course the there was the issue of having enough money. It seemed like there was a hundred reasons why I should not make the trip. God provided the money though wonderful friends and family. I survived 9 plane flights. The absence from my family seemed to make us stronger than ever before. Small steps of faith started my journey to Africa. Faith that GOD would provide and protect. He did and I am grateful.



I pray that GOD will keep the lessons learned sharp in my mind the next time I am presented with an opportunity to go on a mission trip. I don’t want to worry about what seems impossible. I don’t want to worry about whether my family will be ok. I don’t want to worry about my safety on the way over or while on the trip. I don’t want to worry about getting dirty. In fact, I look forward to it. I bought some new khakis to take with me. After face painting outside of Kampala and playing barefoot soccer on the hills overlooking Uganda I now have paint and dirt stains covering my pants. I wear those pants with pride, knowing that for a little while some of those orphans and I felt the same feelings of love for one another. Different ages. Different skin tones. Different worlds. Same Father."



Who could resist these sweet faces?? I am so so proud of my husband for the time that he spent in Uganda. The whole team really did show the Lord's love as much as they could in those 10 days!

If you want to learn more about Uganda or the programs he worked with there, please see:



Friday, August 20, 2010

Speedy the ring bearer

Apple and Speedy were recently a flower girl and ring bearer. We traveled to Pigeon Forge with Nonna and Papaw for the special event!


Now Apple has participated in several weddings as a flower girl over the years. This was Speedy's first wedding as a participant however. True to his nickname, at the rehearsal he chose to run as fast as he could down the aisle. Over and over we tried to cajole him into calmly walking down the aisle. He never would. Against my warnings, the bride insisted that he carry the pillow with the actual rings attached. I had serious concerns. He is a pilferer by nature. He loves to put things in his pockets. Also he runs, away, quickly, quite often. Added to that, Speedy normally doesn't react well to strangers and crowds. He becomes a leg warmer. Hmmmm..... this was going to be interesting.
Well first of all he LOVED his "suit". He was strutting all around in it. When the time came to go down the aisle, he actually walked at a normal speed! Hallelujah! When he got to the stage, he marched right up and stood in the middle! No one could convince him to move over to the side! He is in every single picture because he stood directly behind the bride and groom for the whole ceremony! He also refused to turn  around and face them. He faced the crowd the entire time. And he had the whole crowd cracking up! He was holding the pillow pretty much by one corner the whole time. I cannot believe the rings stayed tied on! he just stood there with his big lips all pouched out. A few times he put one hand on his hip and looked disdainful. After they took the rings, we tried our best to call him down to sit with us. He ignored us!




On the other side, Apple did awesome! She stood so still and was so mature! There were two other flower girls and they did great as well but they did chose to break out in song one time! So cute!

After it was all over, all Speedy had to say was "That music was too loud. It hurt my ears."

My kids are hilarious! :) Thank you Lord for such amazing babies!

St Louis Zoo

We took an awesome field trip overnight to St Louis! Our biggest adventure was the zoo! We saw elephants, gorillas, penguins, seals, alligators, bears, insects, butterflies, dwarf mongooses, and much much more! The kids both LOVE animals and zoos are a family favorite for us! We took Apple to this zoo when she was 2 but Speedy had never been. They had a great time and learned so much about the animals we were able to see. They would have enjoyed even more time than we spent there but I am sure we will go again in the future. In case you don't know, the St Louis Zoo is always free! There is no admission charge! Parking is $11. You are allowed to carry in coolers, snacks, etc. We did run out of beverages towards the end so we purchased a HUGE souvenier cup. It was the best deal but I wish we had gotten in when we first went in. You pay $6.99 for the cup and the first soda fill up but after that you can refill as often as you'd like for $1 per fill up.









Also if you go, be sure to take an extra change of clothes for the kids! There is one area with a "water fall" for the kids to cool off! We let them do this last and then we put dry clothes on when we got to the car.

While in St Louis we also found a double decker carousel at the Chesterfield Mall and a cool play area there that was free! We stayed at the Drury Inn Chesterfield and it was great! They have a 5:30 free "appetizer". Let me just tell you they should call it the 5:30- 7:00 pm free dinner! It was a whole buffet! Salad, hot dogs, boneless chicken wings, baked potatos, chips, dips, and free beverages. They also have free soda and popcorn until 10 pm. In the morning there was a terrific free breakfast: cereal, juice, soda, coffee, tea, bacon, eggs, biscuits, gravy, bagels, donuts, muffins, etc. Made the room more than worth it! The facility also had an indoor/ outdoor pool, hot tub, and fitness room.




We took the kiddos to Build A Bear workshop too! They had never been and although they were a little tired, they were very excited! Apple made a peace bear that has a cheerleader outfit and says "I Love you!" and Speedy made a monkey with a helmet and knee and elbow pads complete with monkey sound! Our little friend "Lulu" made a puppy!



On the way home, we stopped at Lambert's Cafe for some of their famous throwed rolls! An awesome two day field trip for sure!



*Disclaimer I was not endorsed or compensated in any way for these reviews.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Blessed Impressions Necklace Giveaway!

The lovely folks over at Blessed Impressions are doing a necklace giveaway! Check out their facebook page for giveaway details and to see their awesome designs!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Murfreesboro-TN/Blessed-Impressions/306790831914

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wee-lax Wednesday

So mid week is upon us! We had great days on Monday and Tuesday! Really felt like both homeschool times were fruitful! After Daddy got home both evenings, A took time to review something with him that she had learned that morning! So since we accomplished so much the first 2 days, I though Wednesday would be a good day for review and easy lessons.

We had a flashcard party! Or at least that's what it felt like! A had flashcards to review the states she has learned. We looked at Landmark flashcards ($1 Target) for Statue of Liberty, since she studied New York on Monday, and  the Gateway Arch of St Louis, because we will be visiting there again soon. Then she learned a couple of new things. She spent some time finding Uganda on her new world map placemat ($1 at WM) and looking at the flag of Uganda on her Flags of the World flashcards ($1 Target). Then we began our study of the Presidents. We started with the current President, since she was familiar with him alread, and read some facts about him on the President Flashcards ($1 Target). E looked at his new number and letter flashcards (made free from some internet printables and workbook pages). He focused on the letter Ee and the number 1 today.

They also did some dry erase board coloring! E practiced trying to write Ee and 1, he made a face, and then they both drew houses!

A did some clock times on her clock manipulative and practiced counting with some counting triangles we purchased for $1 at Target. These were short a few (47 instead of 50) but I think we will survive! A friend picked up another pack for us so we will be good!

A started yesterday learning to do a Loop Loom, you know where you make potholders out of loops. It is slow going, she loses interest quickly, but everyone can go ahead and anticipate one of those for Christmas! :)

Have you started your school year yet? Anything really fun you have done yet?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Today was our first day of Kindergarten!!!!


Today was A's first official day of kindergarten here in our homeschool! What a fantastic first day she had! Lesson one of Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read (1st grade), a bounty of worksheets for different subjects, an art worksheet, and a state study on New York. She excelled at everything we did today and she approached it all with an attitude of excitement and eagerness to learn! I can only pray the whole school year will go as well as today did!

You can see part of our "classroom" wall in the background. I am going to add a few more elements and then I will add some pics on here for everyone to see!

While sister did her homeschool, little brother had a great playdate with a friend upstairs in our playroom! Looks like they were having a music class!