Friday, January 27, 2006


This week has been pretty busy for us and I am so glad it's Friday! Tuesday was my doctor's appointment so we drove to the "big city" and spent the day. Doctor says everything is fine and I only gained 1 pound last month. That makes 7 pounds~TOTAL! In the beginning the doctor told me to gain no more than 16 pounds, at which point I asked him if HE had ever BEEN pregnant! But, with 4 months of feeling VERY ill and not wanting to eat much of anything, I have been really lucky. Of course the last 3 months I have not had ANY problem eating! My main craving is sour cream mexican anything! Any good recipes? :)

We finished James and the Giant Peach and Chocolate Fever and have moved on to Mr. Popper's Penguins. I am really amazed at how much Alyssa loves our read aloud time. She looks forward to it everyday and on days when we don't do it during the day, she wants her bedtime story to be her chapter book. I am looking forward to reading some of my childhood faves to her and I can't wait to break out the classics! We have tons of books, many of which I began buying before we had kids. I ordered more books from the Scholastic book fliers than any of my students when I was teaching. When I ran the daycare we had a Scholastic Book Fair and I probably spent a month's salary on books! Brian and I both grew up loving books and reading A LOT! As only children, I guess we had lots of quiet time to read. :) When we were first married, we spent hours in used book stores just browsing and finding great books. As a child I remember my mother always had a book or a magazine to read. Doing dictionary work the other day (using my childhood children's dictionary), I was telling Alyssa how I liked to read the dictionary when I was a child. As I was explaining it to her I wondered how many other people read the dictionary as children, I know Brian did, but he's weird like that! :) Anyway, she started looking through it and asking questions about the pictures and different words and I felt so nostalgic thinking about reading THAT dictionary and knowing that she would probably be doing the same thing soon! I love those moments when you feel good about what you are doing for your children and see them responding to it.

Monday, January 23, 2006

A "Typical" Day

Well, I thought I might describe a "typical" day for us. This is an odd concept for us because it seems like every day is different. I guess if I were sending the kids to school we would get up, have breakfast, get ready and leave on some type of a schedule. However, since that is not the case, I think we just go with the flow of the day. Anyway, Gwen usually gets up between 7 and 7:30, however, today she got up at 9:00!! So there goes my typical day! If I had been sleeping, Gwen would have gotten up at her usual 7:00, but I was up and "waiting" so she slept until 9:00! Alyssa would sleep until noon if you let her so I made sure she got up also. First, we just sit around talking and waking up for a little while and then someone (usually Gwen) gets to pick a video. Alyssa has been very good about going "second" since Gwen has learned about turns!! I will make something to eat (today, muffins) and the kids will watch a video (today, Wiggles) while I get computer time, start laundry, etc. I know, I know, TV should not be the first thing they do in the morning! For us, I find that it makes the day smoother, the kids get to pick one video a day and this way it is over with and we can move on without distraction. It seems like in the morning the kids are more likely to be active while watching TV, if we wait until the afternoon they tend to become zombies in front of the TV. I am pretty strict about no TV in the evenings because I think it makes for bad nighttime rest. So, that being said, I will move on. :) After the video, they move on to picking an activity. With this being Alyssa's Kindergarten year, I would call it "center time." They can play with toys or do arts/crafts. This time is rarely "planned" by me. After their free time to play, we clean up a bit, have some lunch and Gwen goes down for a nap. This is when school happens for Alyssa. Alyssa is very receptive after a morning of her own creative exploits. When Gwen does not nap we go ahead and school and Gwen participates by coloring or playing close by. She is getting used to "school time" and is very interested in participating so I make sure there are two of all coloring sheets, activities, etc. so she can feel involved. "Sit down" school might last up to an hour, depending on what is being done and then we do our read aloud. During read aloud time, the girls play quietly or sometimes, just sit. By now it is time to get ready for dinner and daddy to get home! On Mondays, Alyssa has gymnastics so we have a snack and leave about 5:30. On Wednesday mornings Gwen has gymnastics and that makes the whole day a lot different! AND on days when I have to go to the doctor (like tomorrow) there is NOTHING resembling what I just typed happening!! So, this is a typical day for a day when there is no morning gymnastics, no doctor's appointments, no daddy home, no co-op, no field trip, no one is sick and when no other life event has hindered our "typical day"!! God, I LOVE homeschooling!!!

Saturday, January 21, 2006


I feel much better now! My mexican casserole was yummy and only made me feel queezy for a short while! This morning I got up and decided to make brownies and do laundry...I AM feeling better! :) Today is going to be the day that I try and get the baby's room in some sort of order. It's been a catch all room for a couple months plus I need to de-girly it for him! At this point the poor boy has very little chance for being least I took the pink curtains down. We purchased a border for his room that is made up of classic marvel comic book covers (Brian's idea) and it is really cool. I am hoping we will motivate to get that up BEFORE he is born. Well, here's to cleaning and organizing!

Friday, January 20, 2006


Okay, because I promised no more bodily function stories, I will save you from this. Let's just say that I am not at all happy about how I feel! It started yesterday and actually I feel better today. I WANT some type of mexican casserole for dinner (a CONSTANT craving) and I think I'm going to make one, in between sitting down from being dizzy! Well, school hit the skids about 1/2 way through yesterday because of my illness, but we did finish James and the Giant Peach. Alyssa liked it and is looking forward to our next selection, Chocolate Fever. It's a short chapter book and should only take us 1-2 days, depending on how I feel. Next week will be Mr. Popper's Penguins to go with our Science theme of penguins. I think we will try and watch March of the Penguins too. Monday we will be going to the library to pick up the books I have reserved for our penguin unit (I LOVE the online reserve feature!!) and Tuesday is my doctor's appointment. We are going to have to play catch up with history next week so it's going to be busy. I hope noone else gets sick! Knock on wood!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Sad Day

Well, we were leaving for Gwen's gymnastics class this morning and realized that the puppy had not made herself known (extremely rare!) and decided to look around for her. I found her, dead. I felt so bad for Alyssa, this was her first puppy. We've had her about 5 months and although the girls loved her very much, I was still indifferent due to the chewing nature of a puppy. We believe that she ate something either foreign or poisonous to cause her to die. She chewed and ate EVERTHING! Alyssa is doing OK now and is actually thinking of a new puppy. I, on the other hand, am looking forward to having a clean yard!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Upcoming Projects

Because November and December seem to fill up with other things I used those months for phonics instruction, writing/penmanship and cooking/crafting and waited to start our History OdysseyLesson Plans until this month. I am finding that our year may end up with "summer" being the months of November and December! Anyway, I have had the lesson plans for months now and have slowly ordered all of the necessary items for instruction. The Ancient China Treasure Chest was one of the recommended items. Once we saw how great it was I started looking at all the Running Press Treasure Chests and went wild!! I purchased the Hieroglyphics TC, the Ancient China TC, the Ancient Greece TC (for only $8.00!!) , the Lift the Lid on Mummies and the Lift the Lid on Gladiators(for only $6.00) sets!! I am sure that I will be ordering as many as I can get my hands on because they look like a LOT of fun! Alyssa is really excited about all of them and we can't wait to get started.

Not Again?!?!

As I put everyone to bed, confident that we are over the brief illness that kept me up last night, I breathed a sigh and (eventually) went to bed. About 12:30 I heard it, the sound, the gag, I jump up and run (not easy in my condition) and grab Gwen and run towards the bathroom...we make it to the hallway. She had not been sick for HOURS and had eaten enough blan food to make her comfortable, went to bed fine (I assumed) and then lost it. Anyway, after cleaning the floor, the toilet (I did try!) and then us, we laid down. No more incidents, Yea! She seems fine this morning. Another day of watery juice and boring food! Although this has given her something to talk about! She has told anyone who would listen about her "throw up" adventures. She has kept track of all the places she "missed" and will point them out proudly! Anyway, I am hopefully done with stories that include any type of bodily function...well, until potty training starts!!

Alyssa had a great time at gymnastics(as usual) and her Granny and Poppa came to enjoy the show. She is getting pretty good at her bridge kick overs, a less dangerous intro to a back handspring, which I personally have mixed feelings about seeing her accomplish! She just learned, last week, to do a flip on the trampoline...dang unseasonable weather!! Gwen, of course, is doing her version...YIKES! I fear it's not long before they are both flipping (probably at the same time!) and who knows what. We'll have a circus act in the front yard!

Everyone have a great day!

Monday, January 16, 2006

6 Hours and Counting!

Well, Gwen has not thrown up since this morning. She has had bread with peanut butter, watery juice, crackers and 5 sliced black olives (everyone else had pizza!). She is napping now and seems to be fine, just puny. Alyssa has gymnastics tonight and thank goodness Brian is home to keep Gwen! Gwen has gymnastics on Wednesday and I hope she is better by then...she LIVES for gymnastics. Her class is a "mommy and me" class and I am basically there to make sure she doesn't kill herself (or twist herself into a knot). Both of which are possibilities with Gwen! We did manage to tackle school today with Gwen sick AND dad home, I'm amazed! Dad seems to distract us and we get very little done on days that he is home. I do intend on listing some of our upcoming projects because we are really excited about them. I'll get back tonight or tomorrow, now it is time to get ready for gymnastics.


Okay, the only thing I hate more than being sick, is when my kids are sick. Luckily for us neither one of those things happens that often. Gwen, my 2 year old, woke up about 1:30am throwing up. So from 1:30 to about 5:30 we were on grab and run duty! I find it weird that all she was throwing up was mucus but she was not congested. It was very strange and something that Alyssa, my 6 year old, never has done...knock on wood! I'm I was typing that last sentence, Gwen threw up again! So now I am off to clean the chair, the bathroom, the carpet on the way to the bathroom and do some laundry! Bye!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Read Alouds

Chapter books we have read:
Charlotte's Web
Stuart Little(3 times!)
The Mouse and the Motorcycle
Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Dinosaur Bones (everyday for 2 weeks!)
Magic Treehouse Series (several of these)

Currently we are reading James and the Giant Peach and we have Chocolate Fever checked out from the library to read next.

I get lots of my read aloud ideas from Jim Trelease's book The Read Aloud Handbook. I LOVE this book and keep it handy all the time. It's got markings and notes all through it!

Some of our read alouds will come from our history curriculum and others will come from the Tanglewood website.

What we're doing

Okay, here are some of the things we are doing right now. Currently our read aloud is James and the Giant Peach, and we love it so far. My daughter has really enjoyed read aloud time. I just started using History Odyssey Lesson Plans: Ancients (level 1) and I love them!! My daughter is very interested in history and I think these plans are going to work well for us. For science I use the Living Learning Books Curriculum and my daughter has had a good time with these also. I like them because they use lots of books and the lesson plans are flexible. For math, we use Singapore math and an Usborne Sticker Math book that my daugher LOVES! I also have the Rod and Staff "math" workbook that we use also, it is good for practicing writing numerals and quick lessons. Last year reading instruction proved to be too frustrating for my daughter, so this year we are taking phonics slowly. She is doing very well with beginning phonics now and we are just doing simple sight words and BOB books. I love to see her face light up when she reads something! We have daily activities that reinforce numeral and letter recognition, penmanship, etc. The lesson plans for history and science have things like arts and crafts and cooking built in and I like that very much. However, my kids do some sort of art/craft everyday on their own. We have TUBS of art stuff and they are free to paint, glue, cut, etc until they can't do it anymore!! My oldest has never been a fan of coloring books, she likes paper and pencil/pen/marker/crayon/paint. We have tons of her creations all around! She is a big fan of string...sometimes the house looks like it's filled with spider webs because she has tied EVERYTHING in sight together! Of course my 2 year old has to do everything her sister does, so...well, enough said!

Saturday, January 14, 2006


Well, I have been looking at blogs for a few days now and I love them! I truly feel as though I have nothing to add and don't really know anyone who would read this, but what the heck!! I have 2 girls, ages 6 and 2 and I am currently pregnant. We live in a rural community and we homeschool. My husband and I have never really considered sending the kids to public (or private) school. I started Kindergarten with my 6 year old in the fall and we have been truly eclectic from the beginning. Although unschooling is not a term I use lightly, I find myself more of an unschooler than anything else. One of the blogs I have been checking out (a really good one!) uses the "classical unschooler" term and that pretty much describes us! I do feel as though it is important to note that "unschooling" is not "non-teaching" for us, although many people think of it that way. I use lesson plans, we DO work but we also LIVE and learn. Because we live "in the country" I find Charlotte Mason interesting and utilize some of her methods. Again, we are eclectic, so we pick and choose what works for us! I am just getting the hang of "blog" life and hope to learn how to post all the links I like and use. So, here's to learning!!