Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Memorial Stones in Words: Music in our House

Grateful for Grace hosts a Memorial Stone in Words carnival on the 30th of each month. From her blog: "In history, the Israelites often were told to make memorial stone pillars. These were piles of rock that were to remind the people (and tell others) that God had done something big in their lives. God knew (and still does) that people benefit from visuals. These memorial stones gave the people a chance to tell the story again, either to those who were there and need to be reminded, or to those who were not and needed to know what happened. It also was an opportunity to be refreshed in their faith."

I grew up taking both piano and flute lessons. And I didn't fully appreciate them, especially the piano lessons. And I can play Mary Had A Little Lamb on the piano. And that is about it. I have played my flute a few times for church events in the last five years. But, other than the radio or CD player, that is the only music that has been played in my house. I wanted my children to have the opportunity to take piano lessons, but it never worked out. We were too broke, didn't have room for a piano (once three different people offered to give us a piano in the space of a month!) , and finally, God just told me NO. I listened, and although I felt a bit bad, I trusted God in this. And let me tell you, it is hard being a homeschooler and not taking any music lessons. Probably about 99% of the homeschool population takes music lessons.

It helped that none of the boys wanted to take piano lessons. But as Leia got older, she was interested. Two Christmas's ago, we got her a little play keyboard, and she played on it. And continued to express interest in lessons. We told her when she was older.

Well, older arrived this summer. A homeschool mom, who is also one of the pastor's wives at our church, lives about a mile away and teaches piano lessons. I talked to her about piano lessons casually earlier this summer, but she wasn't sure if she had room in her schedule. I didn't pursue it. A friend offered the use of her keyboard for as long as we need. But the teacher part still wasn't there. I mentioned it to another friend, but still not sure if it was going to happen.

Well, this friend mentioned it to the teacher, and a Sunday after church, the teacher stopped by to give one of the boys their Bible he had forgotten at church. And she asked if we wanted her LAST time slot left. Now this teacher has never been to my house before. So, I took it as a sign from God that now the answer to piano lessons is YES! I guess when the teacher shows up to your house to offer lessons, you can know that God is in control.

So, Leia is taking piano lessons. And Obi decided that he would also like to take lessons, so he is taking them, also. Leia and Obi are sharing a lesson time, so Leia goes one week, and Obi the next. And they can both play a few little songs already, and are loving practicing. Let's hope it continues. But I think it will. I waited a long time for God to provide these lessons, and I am sure good things are going to come from them!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Read With Me, Mommy Book Club with Misty

This past week we hosted the Read With Me, Mommy Book Club at our house. Leia was so excited to pick the book, and have it at our house. She convinced me we should have it and we signed up to host it in July! It seemed so far away at the time! She helped plan the menu for the snacks, the craft, and the discussion. She loved it.

We read the book Misty of Chincoteague. We also got the book on tape from the library and Leia listened to it three times this past month. She is really horse crazy, and is praying that she can get a horse of her own. For now we will continue reading books about horses!

One of the ladies who came to the meeting had actually been to Chincoteague and gave all the girls a picture of some of the ponies they saw while they were there.

Here is a picture of Leia with the book, the picture of the ponies, and wearing the necklace she made for the craft. The necklace says "I love Misty and horses". It is hard to see the details in her necklace in this picture.

The book last month was Understood Betsy. That is a book that I had started to read to the older boys were younger and we didn't finish it as they weren't interested. This time we read further into the book, and we really liked the book. When it came the day for the book club meeting, Leia went with another mom and her daughter, as Yoda was sick and he had a Dr. appointment during the meeting. I didn't get any pictures taken of her, but she really liked the book and had a wonderful time at the meeting.

Next month's book is Island of the Blue Dolphins.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Maxwell Weekend in Denver

This past weekend we went to Denver to hear Steve and Teri Maxwell speak at a Homeschool Conference. We all learned a lot and have a lot to think and pray about. We stayed at a hotel with a pool, which was the highlight for the little people. Yoda got to swim for the first time in a pool. He was terrified at first, but warmed up to it and ended up loving it.

Yoda loved the full length mirror in the hotel room. He spent a lot of time playing with that baby in the mirror!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Firsts for Padme

Here are a couple of pictures of Padme on her first day of Preschool. She is the most excited of any of the children to start school. Everyday, she is first to be ready and remind me, if I get busy, that it is school time. She is holding her tote that holds all her school books.

Here she is with her reading book. Doesn't she look excited????

Here is Padme at her first dance lesson. She is going to Worship Dance class this year. Leia went last year and loved it. This picture is kind of blurry, but she is waiting for class to start.

Here is a picture from the back to show her first bun. She was so excited to have a bun!

Here she is dancing across the floor.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

School Year 2009-2010

I wanted to post our curriculum for the year, mostly as a way of saving it for my own records. I have gotten so eclectic in our curriculum that I need a way to keep track of what we are using!

So for the year, at least at the beginning, here is our curriculum:

Padme Preschool
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
Preschool Activities in a Bag- coming later this month

Leia 2nd Grade
Abeka Math 2
Handwriting Without Tears
Explode the Code
Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day and Lap book
Sonlight Core 2 Readers
History Sonlight Core 3&4
Awana and Community Bible Study

Luke 5th Grade
Saxon Math 6/5
Draw, Write, Now for handwriting
Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day and Lap book
Daily Grams/Easy Grammar
Readers and History Sonlight Core 3 & 4
Awana and Community Bible Study

Obi 8th Grade
Teaching Textbooks Algebra I
Apologia Physical Science
Rosetta Stone Spanish
Awana and Community Bible Study
History and Literature of the Reformation and Enlightenment- class he is taking for history, lit and composition (home school class)

Han 10th Grade
Apologia Chemistry
Teaching Textbooks Algebra II
Rosetta Stone Spanish
Awana and Community Bible Study for Bible
History and Literature of the Reformation and Enlightenment- class he is taking for history, lit and composition

Friday, September 4, 2009

First Week of School Wrap Up

I don't think we have ever started school before Labor Day, until this year. I was doing a lot of planning and praying about our school year, and I just felt like we needed to start earlier this year. After I picked our start date, we found out the date for Yoda to get tubes in his ears. I was still undeterred. A late start one day: we could do it! So we forged ahead, and started school this past Monday, Aug. 31.

The first day was great. We had a new schedule, new chore charts and system, and our new curriculum. I even changed where we did school for the morning. Good that the first day went well, because it has been all downhill ever since!

On Tuesday, Yoda got his tubes in his ears. And I was so exhausted that I had to take a nap before lunch! We still got most of our school work done.

On Wednesday, Yoda spent part of the morning screaming bloody murder, and I was chanting to myself, "The baby Is the lesson, the baby Is the lesson!" Once that was over, it seemed hard to get back on schedule and get going again. But we did and again, we got most of our school work done.

Wednesday evening it rained very hard. VERY HARD. And our playroom downstairs flooded. Ugh... If you know me in real life, you know how many times we have had water trouble in the past year or so. And how sick we are of water problems!!! Anyways, my two oldest boys were up until early in the morning helping to wash towels, shop vac, and sop up water.

Thursday started our Community Bible Study, which is wonderful and we are studying the book of Revelations this year. The oldest two were so tired, and when we came home, they had a list of things to work on for the water problem, and then they took naps. So, they didn't get much school work done, other than life lessons.

Friday was a bit chaotic without the use of the playroom for the two youngest to play in during the morning book work time. But, we got all of our schoolwork done.

A few things have gone very well. I really like my new schedule, courtesy of the Maxwell's book, Managers of Their Homes. Instead of stressing me out to have such an itemized schedule, it has helped me to focus on what needs to be done at specific times and not worry about the big picture. Just little bits at a time. I have also had the younger kids paired up with an older kid for reading books. This has gone very well, and was a highlight for the younger kids. One pair has been reading a book together after school as they like their book so well.

Now I have the long weekend to tweak the schedule, finish drying out the playroom, and be ready to go again next week. Here is hoping next week goes smoother!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Praise and A lot of Crying

Thank you for the prayers for Yoda. His procedure itself went very well. Before and after the procedure, he was a crying baby. He still doesn't sleep through the night, and he loves to nurse. A bad combination when he couldn't have anything to eat or drink the night before his tubes! Needless to say, he was up at 4:00 am crying and fussing until time to leave. He was fine in the waiting room, but as soon as they took us back, he started crying and cried until he finally fell asleep! I held him for about 20 minutes, until they took him for his 10 minute procedure. As soon as they took him, he started crying, and he woke up crying. He cried almost hysterically after he woke up. There was no comforting him. He went back and forth between hubby and me until they let us leave. He normally dislikes his car seat, but as soon as we got into the Suburban and he was in his car seat, he settled down. And fell asleep on the way home. He only slept for about 20 minutes, but when he woke up, he was fine. Although very clingy.

And it was our second day of school.... so it was a full day, and I was exhausted! The next morning, I put some prescribed drops in Yoda's ears, and he started crying again. For about 45 minutes. And after that, other than being more clingy than his usual clingon self, he is back to normal. And hubby and I are just trying to get caught up with our sleep deprivation!