Thursday, April 30, 2009

Adding Up the Little Things

FaithButton

Here are my three small successes for the week:

1. I re-organized the toy bins yesterday. I like to have certain toys in certain bins and over the span of a few months, that system breaks down. So, yesterday was the day that I restored order!!

2. Remember the weight bench I set up? The weights are now in the house! All is ready to use!

3. I am working on a new blog and this week I contacted 8 businesses about it. So far I have two yeses! I am hoping to get more.


Go to Faith and Family Live for more Small Successes!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Milestone Man

Since turning 1 yr old, baby A has decided it is time to pass some of those "baby milestones." A few days ago he started to crawl. He has the cutest army crawl I have seen! And, today, he began eating Cheerios all by himself!! Way to go baby A!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook - A day late

From the Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window...
It is hot, but beautiful!! The sun has been shining all day and there has been a light breeze.

I am thinking...
About the busy week and weekend. Grandma and Grandpa P are coming to visit and Uncle B and Aunt R are coming too!

I am thankful for...
The great family time we had this Sunday. My wonderful husband, the boys and I went to Manassas to see the battlefields and the bluebells. I just could not resist after seeing the photos on Elizabeth Foss' blog. The place looked so beautiful, that I wanted to see it myself. The trails were so nice. I think we all needed to get out and just have some fun time as a family. It was a wonderful day.

From the learning rooms...
We are almost done!! It is so hard to believe we are at the end of J's first year. I have the urge to plan more outings and field trips. It is just too nice outside to be sitting at the kitchen table doing workbook pages. We will head out to nature more and read and play outside!

From the kitchen...
Darling hubby works late several nights this week. I usually do not feel like cooking anything extravagant when he is not home. So, a least for the next two nights, dinner will be simple and quick!

I am wearing...
Shorts and a t-shirt!

I am creating...
Dinner . . . right now I am in the process of making dinner!!

I am going...
To make sure I continue to get up before the boys this week! I love having quiet time before the day starts.

I am reading...
Days of Deepening Friendship
and
Praying Scripture for a Change: An Introduction to Lectio Divinia

I am hoping...

We can go on a "file trip" this week. We may go to a Grist Mill that is not too far. I want to try their flour and see if we like it. If we like it I may start to grind my own wheat.

I am hearing...
The beautiful sound of birds chirping . . . all the windows in the house are open.

Around the house...

Hubby is at work, and the boys are watching Math Circus . . . just a few minutes before dinner!

One of my favorite things...

Spending time with my family.

A few plans for the rest of the week:

Hopefully a field trip. Cleaning to get ready for our guests. Getting out and exercising outside more.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
The bluebells at Bull Run

Friday, April 24, 2009

Cabin Fever

Earlier today, I was ready to write a post entitled "Am I really cut out for this??" Homeschooling, that is. You see I have been tired. Really tired. Baby A still does not sleep through the night and I have not gotten a straight 8 hrs sleep in, well, a year and 3 days. While J is a good student, he is not the homeschooler who is several grade levels above his age. Most days, I am happy if he actually wants to do his school work. Lately, though he has been tough. Lately, I am met with a great deal of resistance. My patience has been running thin. Really thin. So, school work has been slow. Housework, because school has been taking so long, lags. I have been frustrated and I could tell the boys have been as well.

So, I really was wondering, maybe I am not meant to homeschool. Maybe I just do not have the personality to do it successfully. I believe that homeschooling is not for everyone. (Although I think more people say they could never do it than the number of those who really could not . . . I was one who said I could never homeschool.)

Half way through the day today, I got my answer . . . I am beginning to think it was just cabin fever. We have had some nice days lately, but rain has kept us in the house more than out. Today has been the first really beautiful day. After we did some school, the boys headed out to play. It has been great. They were able to get energy out and I was able to get some much needed time alone. We then worked together on a project outside and they were so good and helpful. Not one "No!"!! My energy level has even been much higher than normal.

Luckily, we have nice weather ahead of us for the next week. Good bye, cabin fever!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Easter story as told by my two year old . . . .

This morning, K was impressing us all with his knowledge of Jesus' death and resurrection:

"Jesus died on the cross. "

"Jesus rolled away from the stone."

Not quite right. But, close.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Monkey Manners

A few months ago my 5 year old's K4J group focused on improving manners. The unit was called Monkey Manners. Well, I do not think he listened . . .

Earlier today we were all in the kitchen and I left the room for two minutes and when I came back, J was sitting on the kitchen table, spinning around like a break dancer.

Just call J Leader of the Little Monkeys!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby A!

Happy Birthday to #3!


1 day old


6 weeks old


10 months old


It is so hard to believe that you are 1 year old already. You have been such a blessing to our family. And you have taught me so much! I love you little one!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook - April 20, 2009



From the Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window...
It is dark and rainy.

I am thinking...
About baby A. He has been sick the last couple of days. He is sleeping peacefully now. I hope he wakes up healthy.

I am thankful for...
This quiet morning . . . all of the boys are sleeping in!!

From the learning rooms...
Today we start back to school. I had originally planned to take Holy week and last week off and then we ended up doing school during Holy Week. That is the beauty of homeschool . . . I was able to get a week's worth of work done in three days!! Last week was nice to have off, but I am glad to get back to our routine. I must admit, I am ready for summer to come!!

We are still working on the Impressionists. J saw a Science Experiment in a book that he wants to do this week, so I need to add that to our regular science. Other than that, J is progressing well. He is gaining confidence in his reading. He is willing to try to read books that he would refuse to try before.

From the kitchen...
Tonight we will have a family favorite . . . baked chicken, rice and peas. I have a plan for the rest of the week too which includes honey BBQ salmon, chicken stroganoff, pasta and leftovers!!

I am also researching grinding my own wheat. I know it sounds crazy, but I bake tons and have been interested in doing it for a while. Home ground wheat is so much better for you. I have gotten advice from others who do it and, if I can find a grinder that does not break our budget, I may take the plunge. For right now though, I am still just in the research phase!!

I am wearing...
Black yoga pants, a light blue long, long sleeve, v-neck T, and flip flops!

I am creating...

Little cathedrals ;-)

I am going...
To read some more after I get off the computer (as long as the boys are still asleep).


I am reading...
Days of Deepening Friendship
and
Praying Scripture for a Change: An Introduction to Lectio Divinia

I am hoping...
A feels better for his first birthday tomorrow!!!

I am hearing...
The beautiful sound of quiet!

Around the house...
Hubby is at work, and the boys are sleeping. The house is somewhat organized! I was able to get a bunch of Spring Cleaning done last week since we did not do school.

One of my favorite things...
My wonderful husband!

A few plans for the rest of the week:

This week will be a busy one. I go back to tutoring this week. We have a meeting at our parish on Wednesday night and then marriage prep this weekend. If we can get our school work done early this week, I would like to take Friday off and go somewhere with the boys.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...


The three amigos!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Our trip to the JPII Cultural Center


Yesterday we went to visit my hubby at his work. We went to mass with him and then had lunch. Afterwards, we went to the JP II Cultural Center. It has been years since I have been there and many of the interactive exhibits were closed, but the center has a nice kids area that my sons had a lot of fun in.
My little cathedrals building their own cathedral.


The Cathedral.


J making a rubbing of a saint.


J playing the bells in the tower.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Go, Mom!!

FaithButton

Here are my small successes for the week:

1. I finally got the weight bench set up!! I am too embarrassed to share how long the weight bench sat in a box in my garage, or how long I had it half-set-up. But, it is done! Now, I need to bring in the weights so I can use the bench!

2. I put away my winter clothes and brought our my summer clothes. I have decluttered our bedroom and it looks so nice!!

3. The boys and I met my husband at his work today for mass and lunch. We then went to the JPII Cultural Center.

Go to Faith and Family Live to read other Small Successes!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Can't Get to a Tea Party?


The combination of rain, cold and a baby kept me away from the Tea Party today. I was sad to miss it as I believe it is important to show up and participate in the political process in one way or another.

If you missed it too, go to Pajamas TV. It has live coverage from the Tea Parties all over the nation.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

All you conservatives out there . . .

The Department of Homeland Security has issued a report about you. Oh, boy. What is going on in this country of ours??

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Walking Through Monet's Garden



As mentioned in a post a while ago, J and I are studying Monet and Impressionists art in general. This has been a fairly easy study to put together and both J and I are enjoying it more than I anticipated. I found some great children's books at the library about Monet. Some of them are historical fiction and they are great because they weave factual information about Monet and his life into an interesting format for younger children.

Other than books that include his paintings, we have used the following children's books:

1. Monet and the Impressionists for Kids by Carol Sabbeth(This is a great book with lots of activities to teach kids how to paint like an Impressionist).

2. Claude Monet: Sunshine and Water Lilies by Steven Packard

3. Linnea in Monet's Garden by Bjork and Anderson. This is a great book and a great story about a girl's trip to Paris and Giverny. The pictures are beautiful and the story is well written. (Just a note, you may want to read some of the material in this book first. Monet had a child out of wedlock and later got married. This book explicitly discusses that . . . we skipped over that since I did not want to try to explain that to my 5 year old).

4. The Magical Garden of Claude Monet by Laurence Anholt

5. A Blue Butterfly: A Story about Claude Monet by Bijou Le Tord

After Easter, we are planning to go to the National Museum of Art to see some of Monet's paintings.
My plan is to walk through some of the gardens around the area as well, so we can experience some of the same inspiration that Monet experienced in his garden in Giverny.

We have been reading about Monet and the Impressionists for about two weeks now (not everyday). I am enjoying it because Monet is one of my favorite painters. J has really enjoyed it as well. Last weekend, J was inspired to create his own Water Lily painting, just like Monet created. Well, not exactly like Monet . . . .


The blue is the water and the green with the pink or red are the water lilies. Oh, and those big brown things in the middle . . . . those are "soldier boats!"

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Why, oh, why??

Why did I stay up so late last night?
Especially when UNC was ahead by about 20 points the whole first half?? Why did I think that Michigan State may make a run in the second half and win the game???
I am happy UNC won!! I picked them to win and I won the tourney challenge among my hubby and all of his college friends. No money, just the consolation that I picked a better bracket than all the men!!!
Today is a two cups of coffee morning.
I am on my second one now!!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

You're Just a Dreamer

One of the things I do "on the side" is life coaching. I do it more as a ministry and I do not actively advertise. My full time job of being a mom to three boys does not allow me to do it any more than a little. But, when I meet with a life coaching client, I love it. I enjoying working with others. Plus, it helps me to keep myself on track a bit and remain focused in my own life too. One of the things that I often do with a client, is ask them to write a "dream journal". I ask her to write down what she would like to be doing, or accomplish in the future. This is an exercise I use to help someone set her long term goals. The only stipulation is that the "dreams" need to be realistic. (No dreaming about winning the lottery or buying a multi-million dollar mansion). They also have to be things that you personally can make happen.

I thought I would take a moment and share some of my "far in the future" dreams:

1. Buy a bigger house in the L section ;-) or have our house paid off early . . . . and since both Pete and I are practical we will probably end up paying our house off early.

2. Do life coaching more often. When the boys are a bit older, have several clients a week.

3. Develop my own homeschooling science curriculum.

4. Speak with my husband at a national conference. Speak with him regularly at conferences on marriage issues. I love giving talks with my hubby. He is a natural, gifted speaker and I have so much fun "working" with him.

5. Write a book. Doesn't everyone have this dream??? I have no idea what I would write on, other than it would be a non-fiction spiritual, self-help type of book, but I would love to write one someday.

6. This one is more of a short term goal - Run a marathon.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tea'd

I really try to stay away from blogging about politics. It is not that I am not interested, but that I get very upset when I think about it. We are doing our best to turn it over to God in prayer (My 2 yr old frequently can be heard saying "I pray for Barack Obama"). We are also doing our best to discern God's will for our own involvement in the political process. Dr. Dobson mentioned in one of his books that the reason that the religious right is often not heard (through lobbies) is that so many of conservative Americans are invested in raising their families that they do not have time to be involved actively in political life. I do not want to be silent in the political process, so I often wonder what God is calling our family to. I want to raise our children to be politically aware and involved citizens, so I know I need to be as well.



Anyways, I will get back on topic. I saw this bumper sticker earlier this week and I just got an email about it. I found it interesting and wanted to share. It stands for Taxed Enough Already. There will be Tea Parties on Tax Day all over the US. You can go to American Family Association to buy the bumper sticker and you can go to Tea Party Day to find a Tea Party in your area. I think things like this, hopefully will be happening more and more. I think it is scary how quickly were are moving toward socialism and I wonder if the average American finds it disturbing that our government is asking CEOs to step down and "controlling" bankruptcies . . . all in the name of financial stability.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My homeschooling "weakness"

Science

I love science. I love to teach science to J and to plan what fun activities and experiments to do.

I have found my "weakness" . . . there is a homeschooling website/Internet store that is very dangerous for me to go to . . . I want to buy too much!! It is called Home Science Tools. They have so may neat things there. Many of the items are for older children who are taking biology or chemistry, but they have a lot of kits for younger children. I received their catalogue in the mail and poured over the pages trying to decided what I wanted to get.

If you like science, go take a look!