Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Surprise Visit~

Look who knocked on our door this morning,
 bringing donuts to some very surprised younger siblings!  It was too  quick of a visit, but we sure did enjoy it!  Drew is living and working/ training in Kansas City right now, and will be relocating to his permanent location in Omaha, in early 2013.  We sure do appreciate seeing him whenever we can.  AND a certain little someone sure did take to her biggest brother on this trip home. Drew's arms and lap were the spot where Ellie could be found most of the day today.   So sweet!  She certainly loves her "Dooo!" We loved your visit, Drew.  Even if it was too short!

 And if you look closely, you can see some bandaids on Grace's knee.  She took quite a spill yesterday  off her ripstick.  She's got a banged up knee, and banged up elbow and a sore wrist.  Brave girl.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Works for Us~

OK, not sure how all you home school moms and other busy moms get to your blogging.  By the time the evening comes and the kids are tucked in, I am just wiped, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to get myself to the computer to make a coherent post.  I spoke with Emily earlier this evening and she told me she keeps checking the blog to see photos of her siblings, and that her mother has been a slacker!  So here you are, daughter of mine, a photo of Gracie!  Who by the way, does still wear contacts.  But, she came to me yesterday and told me she was putting her last pair in and needed more.  Well, now she's learned that I need about a weeks notice to get her new ones ordered.  She's not so happy to be back in glasses, but I am SURE she'll be giving me a heads up before she runs out the next time. :)

Anyway, in a past post, I showed Charlie with the math curriculum that, so far, is working well for AnnaClaire, Charlie and Kate.  And now I want to share the math that has been working very well for Grace.  And that is Teaching Textbooks. For Grace's math her first year home, when her English was very limited, I used THIS site and it did the trick to keep her practicing her basic math skills.  She also learned to tell time on the round face clock that year, and I was able to generate worksheets for that from this site as well.  Starting Grace's 2nd year home, we began using Teaching Textbooks Grade 4.  Grace completed Grade 4 last year and also got a start on Grade 5, so she started this year not quite a 1/4 of the way into Grade 5.  I am hopeful that perhaps by the end of next year, she'll be up to grade level in her math.  We BOTH love Teaching Textbooks.  Both of us like the fact that it's done on the computer.  She enjoys  being able to do her lessons independently, and I LOVE that she can do them independently. She is also happy to be getting some extra computer time, since in our family we try to keep screen time fairly limited for the younger set. :)  All of the grading and record keeping is done by the computer, which is a HUGE help to me.  All of the teaching, practice problems, and tests are done on the computer, which I know Grace enjoys as much as I do. If a problem is missed, Grace is able to see a full explanation on how to correctly do the problem, and that has been quite helpful.  In the photo above, Grace is holding up the consumable workbook.  She does the problems in the workbook, and then transfers her answers to the computer.  But really, the workbook is not necessary to have, as it can all be done on the computer.  This curriculum has been a win/win for both of us, and a lifesaver for me!  Do I think this is the most challenging and rigorous math curriculum out there?  Absolutely not. If I had a very mathematically inclined student, I would probably not be using Teaching Textbooks.  I do believe though, that it is a very solid program, and it is just right for Grace. And for this home schooling mama as well!

Our fall activities are all back in full swing, and I'll need to post about some of those thing soon.  I also want to do more homeschooling posts on things that are working well for my students.  I know I always enjoy seeing what works for others.

Also, my laptop has crashed and died.  So now I'm typing on Emily's old one.  Which is MUCH older than my laptop was.  Go figure. So, I wanted to give you all an alert that I have lost my all my email addresses, as I can only access my emails online right now. If you do not hear from me, that's why!  I will have to wait to hear from you, to get you back in my address book.  So please drop me a line!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Visit From Grandma~

Wow, over 2 weeks since I last posted.  Life has been well, LIFE, and we've been living it to the full.

Our days have been very busy with homeschooling, which I plan to post about later.  We've also taken one fun field trip to Blowing Rock with our friends.  Unfortunately, I brought the camera without the battery, so no photos of that glorious day of picnicking, wading in the stream, ice cream eating and park playing.

Now on to Grandma!  Bill's mom flew into Atlanta early last week and stayed with Bill's oldest sister for a few days.  On Saturday, Bill loaded up our van with the 5 children, and met Grandma and sister Linda at the halfway point between our two homes.  They met at a Cracker Barrel and had lunch and visited, and then Bill brought Grandma home to our house for a few days. And what was I doing during the 7 HOURS that they were gone????  Well, enjoying every minute of it, since Bill had been out of town the week before.  I was productive though, and got some things done around the house and also had time to get some errands run as well.

     Gotta get the "rocking chairs on the porch photo" when you're at Cracker Barrel!

Ellie has warmed right up to Grandma on this trip!  She has learned to trust~ in a good way, not indiscriminately.  It's so evident that she's feeling MUCH more secure now.

The exciting thing about Grandma's visit is that she came to us ON her birthday!  And we LOVE to celebrate birthdays at our house! We celebrated Grandma's in typical family fashion with dinner out and then presents and cake at home, while wearing the birthday crown, of course!

 If you look closely you may see a #7 on Grandma's crown.  She's celebrating her 77th birthday!

Grandma and the kids after opening her presents.

And one last photo this morning of Grandma and the kids before church.

After church today we headed to Pei Wei for brunch and then spent the afternoon swimming at the pool one last time before it closes for the season.  The children were thrilled that Grandma brought her bathing suit and "got in" with them!  No photos of that per Grandma's request. :)  

Our plan was for Aunt Linda to drive to us on Tuesday, have dinner and spend the night, and then take Grandma back to her home again on Wednesday, but while writing this post, Aunt Linda just called to say that while at Cracker Barrel, she had pulled a muscle in her back.  Though uncomfortable at the time, she did make it home ok, but woke up this morning in real pain, and has been on ice all day.  She won't be up for the drive on Tuesday, so Grandma will be leaving our house on a jet plane for Atlanta on Wednesday.  We're so sorry you're hurting, Aunt Linda.  The kids are going to be SO disappointed not to see you this week.  We hope you will come for a visit soon.