Category Archives: Reading

She turned 5! And catching up on September

Standard

 

Silvia and cousin Graham had a fun mutual birthday party at Nana and Pop’s house in Fort Wayne. She was all too eager to put on her new nail polish and jewelry from Aunt Danielle and Catherine.

Baby Graham was not impressed with his birthday cupcake, but still had fun playing and enduring the torture from his cousins (Melanie not excluded). To pick out presents for their sister, Joe took Leo and Theresa to Goodwill. Leo did an excellent job finding a pony for Silvia. Theresa did an excellent job as well. However, Theresa was a little surprised that all those gifts she picked out were for Silvia…

Saturday morning coffee, back-yard jam-session!

img_1942

Finally, all her hair fits in a pony, but it doesn’t last long.

img_1945img_1943

This couch serves as Simon’s climbing wall. Lately, he’s been plopping off the back-side only to moan and whine 10 seconds later that he’s all alone and stuck.

img_2141

Oh come on Simon, Theresa is a professional stroller walker….you’ll be fine…

Trying to make the best out of the dwindling days of summer, we picnicked at Garfield park. The older kids were not interested in soccer, so Joe set up races for Leo and Silvia, while the “babies” and I stayed in the shade.

img_2135

It took several wipe-outs from Theresa before she realized that plastic wheels and tight-turns don’t go well together.

Silvia took a gymnastics class in August.  She really liked it and Simon and Theresa had fun playing in the kids area right next to her class. Leo completed a swim class in July as well.

The kids just finished the first 5 week semester of co-op.  They are both really enjoying it this year.  I taught 1st/2nd grade math which was one of Leo’s classes.  Next semester I’ll be teaching a humanities class for 3rd/4th graders.  I think my teaching partner and I will be doing a Little House on the Prairie study with them.

Homeschooling has been going fine so far.  My only problem is that I haven’t been as consistent as I’ve liked.  I unfortunately chose to remove wall paneling in our family room, which created a big project.  Our family room is still out of commission…which is annoying since it’s the homeschool room.  But I think we’re pretty much caught up on the days we missed and I am still really enjoying it.  I just finished reading what I think is the original version of Pinocchio to the kids.  It was over 250 pages, but excellent.  Numerous lessons to be learned from it.  Leo can swallow whole books in days if he gets into it.  He finished a Boxcar children book and a book on the Titanic.  I got 4 Rick Jr. magazines from the library and he read them all in 1 afternoon.  Lol

Silvia is 70% of the way through “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons”.  She’s been doing great with it and has begun to read some Bob books for extra practice.  I think she’ll finish the reading lessons and move on to real books in the next couple months.

Leo does copywork almost every day for writing practice.  We read short stories every week, play math games or Leo does a math worksheet.  Silvia and I use the abacus or play a card game in which we try to “make 10”.  I think Leo is at a 2nd grade level in math.  He can tell time and count money and add double digits.  I made the kids these jars to help them work on money management:

Being the antithesis of a “crafty” woman, this tiny project meant that the after-lunch dishes were neglected 🙂

As every adult knows, the amount of housework is never-ending, but for me, to work on anything other than my typical chores and homeschool is to get behind in some other area.  I suppose in my desperation for help, I will hopefully teach the kids chores at a young age as an investment in their future ability to help me keep the house clean and tidy.

We’ve been so busy with projects, visitors, trips, book clubs, bible clubs, CL.  Our former Indy neighbors stayed with us for a couple days.  It was great to have them.  I think that with our super-involved lives we live, I need to come up with a really good rhythm for our evenings.  Sometimes there are 2 or 3 events in a week that Joe or I attend.  It’s been great for building friendships though! There are so many intelligent, thoughtful, interesting women in the book clubs I attend.  And Joe is beginning to make friends in a Bible study.  🙂

Advertisements

July Family Vacation and More

Standard

Toward the beginning of July, we made a little trip to Indy to visit friends.  Nostalgia.  That is the word I felt. Seeing dear friends and neighbors and our old stomping grounds got me nostalgic, sad and reminded me what I love/miss about Indy. For some inexplicable reason, I don’t think I took any pictures??

A couple weeks ago we went to Clifty Falls State Park for the CL vacation.  I took these photos from my friend, because I forgot to take pictures.  It went surprisingly well this year.  The 3 kids were already used to sleeping in a queen bed together, so they shared one in the hotel with no problem.  I put Simon’s pack n play in the bathroom, which worked out well.  I was much more relaxed this year probably b/c I went into it with very low expectations and didn’t try to put anyone to bed too early.  One morning we did a 2 1/2 hour hike in about 90% humidity.  We all enjoyed it.  As you can see from the pictures, we were an enormous group.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I took these pics of Simon one day while we were rolling around on the kids’ bed.

img_1725img_1723

img_1721

Auntie Danielle and baby Graham paid us a visit and brought what every guest should bring — home-made lasagna!

We were tired of Simon causing all sorts of trouble, so we hitched a baby swing to the roof of our deck. If Simon doesn’t love roller coasters when he gets older, it’s through no fault of Theresa and Silvia.

img_1729

I’ll swallow my pride. Joe predicted this one…the kids are back in the same room (after laboriously rearranging the rooms for the second time).

img_1711

The “garage swing” lasted about a week until it found it’s home in the backyard

img_1778

Doing what I do best…drinking cocktails, reading, and neglecting chores.

img_1758

Sundays, where we try not to work, but really Joe and the kids make a gigantic mess all day only for me to clean it up on Monday!

Easter, family, books

Standard

img_1110

Leo just finished reading his first Magic Tree House book.   Below I caught Leo reading to Silvia all on their own.  I had to run get my camera.  Silvia will sometimes ask Leo to read to her now that he is able to read well enough. At first she was too impatient with his (lack of) speed.  Since Leo is improving by leaps and bounds on his reading, we have turned our focus to writing.

img_1084img_0926

Simon is 8 months now and started crawling a few weeks ago. He likes to chew on cords. He loves playing with doors. He pushes it open, crawls over to it, pushes it almost closed, crawls over, opens it…repeat. I am red in the face in the top right picture b/c I’d just finished a run.  Simon is going to be a math genius since we are starting him early on the abacus.

The weather has been pretty warm lately, so we’ve gotten out on some strolls/bike rides and gone to the park.  We also went to the Boonshoft museum on Good Friday because I thought we still had co-op that morning and drove downtown to find nobody there. So we made a detour to the museum.  The evening of Good Friday we drove 50 minutes to meet friends in CL at a park to do a Way of the Cross.  Afterwards the kids played while we waited for pizza and ate.  Leo and Silvia made new friends and were having the time of their life.  We were so amazed to see them playing with the other kids as they are so shy! I think being around the kids during the Way of the Cross warmed them up to new people.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We drove up to Ann Arbor for a day and half over Easter weekend.  My brother was hosting and all of my side of the family made it.  The kids had a blast playing with their cousins and it was cool to be with all my family, even if it did feel like a whirlwind.  There was an Easter Egg hunt and a walk to a neighborhood park.  In one picture, Joe is trying to get Simon to grab the Easter egg up in the tree, but he wouldn’t do it.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve started a new goal of making Sundays a day of rest/family day.  It has been a challenge! There is always so much work that needs to get done around the house and projects to be completed.  So Joe and I worked hard all day Saturday and let the kids join us in the projects.  Pictured above: Sunday we had a lovely day outside playing with the kids and going to the park.

What we’re Learning

Standard

Home schooling is going well so far.  Leo and Silvia are flying through the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons book.  Leo is probably able to read over 20 Bob books now.  We’re not doing them in order.  I just look at all the Bob books in a box at the library and pick out the ones that have sounds I know Leo can read.  Silvia gets frustrated that she can’t read most of the ones I pick out but she should be able to within a couple months.  She is only about 20 -25 lessons behind Leo. The Teach your Child book is just wonderful and Leo and Silvia are really getting the phonics down before sight words, which I’m happy about.

This week we had a play date with one of the families from the home school co-op who live down the road from us.   They have 13 acres, chickens in their back yard and a creek toward the end of their property.  Their house and property are beautiful and the kids had a great time playing with the boys.  One of her boys is in Leo’s class.  I’m very pleased to have gone there and hope this can be a regular thing.  I’m wondering about dropping Leo off to play with her boys sometime.  Or vice versa.  They’re probably getting to be that age.

Home school co-op has been enjoyable.  Leo is in a K class, and Silvia is in pre-K.  They do an art or music class together and then split into their own grades.  Leo also has a geography and science class.  Silvia has a letters class and a free time to do puzzles or blocks.  I am doing childcare this semester but will be teaching a few classes later on.  Even when I don’t have childcare duties, I tend to hang out in the nursery so Theresa can play and I can talk to the other moms.   It’s kind of a social time for me and the kids are always excited to show me the work they bring home in their binders.  It takes up all of Friday morning so it is good for getting us out of the house at least once a week.  With 2-3 nappers in the house, sometimes I feel like we can’t get out because someone is always napping! On those days, however, we may at least get outside and go for a (nature) walk or ride bikes in the front sidewalk and do yard work together.  Today, the  kids were excited to help me bag the leaves off the back porch and had fun jumping in the leaf piles I made.

Leo is listening to books on cd during his quiet time.  But he’s going through them too fast! He’s completed The Magician’s Nephew, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s birthday, a Winnie the Pooh one, Charlotte’s Web and is almost through Matilda.  Looks like I may need to get some more before his car ride to FL with his grandparents.  Also, Joe and I are reading a few pages at nap time or bed time of the 1st Harry Potter book.

On a side note, here are the only pics I got of the kids trick-or-treating.  That is Theresa the bat who wouldn’t keep her dang hood pulled up.  Below is big girl T sleeping in her toddler bed.  Although she still regularly falls out.  And Simon watching his mobile.  I think he rolled over for the first time in the middle of the night last night.  Haha

Simon is such a sweet and happy baby and has just started sleeping better in his crib. Praise God! And I’ll keep my fingers crossed it continues.