Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snow Day

Good Morning!

2 1/2 inches on the ground and more coming down before it tapers off after lunch. DH is home from work and we are going to play today. Neither Emily nor Robbie have experienced this much snow.



Sunday, January 18, 2009

Remodel of Girls' Room, Again

I am constantly trying to find ways to maximize the space we have in the girls' bedroom. Three little girls in one space is tight quarters. My neighbor got a bedroom set for her daughter and asked me if I would be interested in the loft bed. It is a high loft with a full length desk built-in shelves underneath. And, even better, it was free.

We jumped at the chance, and yesterday DH moved it over to our house and set it up. Mary is thrilled. It is almost like she has her own self-contained room in the bedroom. After it was put together she spent 20 minutes organizing the books and selecting which ones were "hers' that she was going to read, someday. She has space for her books, her art supplies, her Nintendo DS stuff, the audio book CDs and so forth. Plus open space to work on her crafts.

Next month we are going to pick up a few of three-drawer storage containers to put under the desk and move Mary's clothes into. Then all of her stuff will be in one place, plus I will finally be able to move Emily's clothes out of Robbie's room.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Biweekly Art Day

I added a biweekly art day to our schedule this winter. It seemed that we never could find the time or my energy for all the fun art projects we wanted to do. So, twice a month we set aside a day that all we do are arts & crafts. They can be related to one of our unit studies, or just something we think might be fun to do.

Today we turned on the classical music station and pulled out the crafts and paints. First we made snowflakes to celebrate our cold snap this week, which could be the only winter we get.

Then during Robbie's nap time (because even I don't have the energy to let him paint yet) we pulled down the paints. As usual the theme of the day was water & beach. They love painting things to do with water.

Mary worked on a pirate ship. Emily experimented with mixing colors, "just like Curious George, momma!"
While Katie painted the beach as it looked this summer.
It was a nice, relaxing day. And, they even cleaned up after themselves...bonus points for that.

This afternoon, in a reminder that classes are all starting back again, Katie had her first theater class. She said that she really enjoyed the class. They will be working with various nursery & fairy tales this term.

Tonight Mary and I attended her first Brownie meeting. Yes, finally after two years we have a girl scout troop! Of course she will actually be bridging to Junior scouts at the end of this year, but she is finally registered. And, I brought home paperwork to become a troop co-leader. This is a group without a leader that they are starting now so that hopefully they will have a fully functional troop next fall. If I become a leader there will be space for Katie next year. I don't mind leading Katie's troop, but I would have second thoughts about doing it for Mary. Mary needs someone else in charge for a change. Three other mothers also took leader paperwork, so maybe we can have a junior troop form out of this also.

Of course, if it comes down to it and the only way for Mary to have a troop next year is for me to lead it, I will. She is so chomping at the bit to earn badges as a Junior girl scout. I found a copy of the badge book at the used book store and she has been pouring over it to figure out which badges she wants to do first.

The person from the area office told me that they are trying to pull together a mini-Daisy troop for this winter and spring also and Katie could go ahead and do that. I really hope so as Katie was disappointed she could not attend tonight's meeting.

I still have the information about 4-H that I need to go over and see if there is a group we would like go to. Because nothing says crazy like a homeschooling-scout leading-4-H member-work at home-soccer mom!!!



Thursday, January 08, 2009

Proof we actually do school, sometimes...

Robbie has a new hiding spot. He really thinks that we can't see him when he crawls under the kitchen stool. I always know he has done something to his sisters when he comes running into the kitchen and pulls the stool over his head.
We started off our second day of school with scrambled eggs made by Katie. Yummy!!
We only spend about 30-45 minutes at table activities. Emily is insisting on having her own work during this period. She lasts about 20 minutes before running off to do her own thing.
Even Robbie will join us for small spurts. He just needs some scrap paper, a pencil and some crayons.
The first few days back are going really well. Today we have gymnastics in the middle of the day. I'm going to continue the routine of 'game' morning on Thursday with focused school during Robbie's nap time after gymnastics. It allows us to do some more in-depth things on Thursday. This morning Katie and Emily have been playing Blokus and Don't Break the Ice. I've been working online and persuading Robbie to sit on his potty intermittently (if he doesn't want to wear his diaper, he needs to use the potty).



Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Living without cable

We took the jump to try this year without cable TV. Yesterday morning, bright and early, the technician was out here to turn off the cable...and so it began. We have been warning the children for months that this could happen, and then for the last week that it is actually happening.

So what was the first day of cable withdraw like? Well, Mary didn't even seem to notice or just figured it wasn't worth fussing about. Emily took it with a shrug of her shoulders. Robbie could not understand why Noggin wouldn't come on. Katie, who watches the least amount of TV normally was the most upset by it.

We started school again after our three week holiday break. We ended last semester after finishing up several reading and workbooks that we could start almost fresh this semester. The first day is always about getting back into the rhythm, so we only cover the basics and slowly add in more subjects over the week. The kids did great and we finished in a little under two hours. Mary has a new reading text that I had found at a used book store for $1 that is at the perfect level for her and she likes. She has also decided to tackle "Tom Sawyer" as her independent reading book this month. She read the first chapter yesterday and enjoyed it.

Since school took very little time, I popped in the NOVA video on Fireworks we had recently received from Blockbuster. That was really interesting. My favorite part was learning how computer technology is used to time the fireworks to music. Mary enjoyed the chemistry of fireworks, while the others enjoyed watching all the fireworks.

After lunch Robbie went down for his nap and Emily wanted to watch one of her DVDs. Mary and Katie got interested in various projects. I decided to take quiet time in my bedroom and ended up sleeping for two hours. I couldn't believe I had passed out that long. But, Mary held down the fort really well.

We had a great evening when DH got home. DH helped Mary add the new animal pages to her Animal Encyclopedia and reviewed her spelling words. Then they got into some big paper airplane making project that involved everybody.

Without the distraction of the TV, I had help making dinner and cleaning up after dinner. I had time to hang out with Emily and Robbie before they went to bed. And, the house was clean-ish when I went to bed.

Now, if it will just stop raining so we can get outside again. Everything is a mud pit right now. I can't even let the little ones out to play without running bath water all day.


A family of six living and learning. You might catch us outside in the mud or working on crafts. We always seem to be on the go, come on and join us.