Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Husband

Today is my husband's birthday!

I find in the blog world that I get to "know" so many interesting women (and their kids), but very little about their husbands. Let me tell you a little about mine...

I don't mention his name here to protect our family. I feel he identifies us. I'm not quite sure what "dh" means, but I see it a lot. I don't use use it because, well, I don't know what it means. Maybe one of you can tell me.

He's from New Jersey. Really and truly, there is a beautiful part and he's from it. The youngest of three, older brother and sister. A wildly fun family. When he was in sixth grade he felt the call to be a pastor during a worship service at his home church. When he walked out the doors that morning to shake the pastor's hand, he told him he was going to be a pastor one day. Sure of it. Now he is an associate pastor at our church... preaching, teaching, and loving every minute.

His plan was to graduate from college and go immediately to seminary. But God had plans for us to meet first (and for him to work at a church for two years). We both moved to the DC area the summer we graduated from undergrad. Fell in love. Got Married. Then went to seminary in Massachusetts. I worked, he studied. Three years later, we came back to DC. Three kids later. Here we are.

I knew when he graduated from seminary with his MDiv, that was not the end. A few years later, he got the itch to start a PhD program. He LOVES it. He's doing it part-time through U of Aberdeen and makes the trip to Scotland once a year to meet with his advisors face to face. This is year 4 or 5... he tells me there are less than two years left. For those interested, his focus is Historical Theology - the Covenant Theology of Zacharias Ursinus, author of the Heidelberg Catechism. I try to always stay up with the particulars and content, but the real joy is watching him doing what he loves.

And as a dad, he is fun! I'm trying to enforce bedtime, while he is having a wrestle-tickle fest. He's always ready to play lacrosse, soccer, t-ball, do cannonballs... full of energy for these little guys of ours. And he gives me full days off when I need them.

I am blessed!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Homeschool Report

We made it through the first eight weeks. Some days... just barely. : )

Just to give you an idea of how we are filling our days, here's a report.

Each school day starts at 8:15ish with Family Huddle. My husband plays the guitar and we sing a few hymns the kids have been learning, as well as more familiar worship songs. All three kids are memorizing scripture using My ABC Bible Verses. We talk, pray, and "break" like a huddle... the kids take turns coming up with what we say. "Yay Homeschool!" is a favorite. We are such nerds!

I started off the first few weeks having the kids do chores right after Family Huddle, but that was proving to be too disruptive. Now we do chores before FH or, honestly, not at all.


Saxon Math : 4x a week
Hannah is doing well. Thankfully, math comes easily to her, but both Hannah and I feel it takes too long to do each day. It's fine for now, but I am looking at Singapore again and think I may switch, but not anytime soon.

First Language Lessons : 3x a week
This has been going very well. We both enjoy it. It's a nice short lesson after the hour+ of math. I've added more poetry memorization that FLL includes, which Hannah loves.

Story of the World : 2x a week
Love it. We are covering a chapter a week. The first day, I read the chapter to Hannah, she does a narration page, and maybe a coloring page. The second day, we listen to the CD on the way to gymnastics, maybe do a related activity, have a "book look" - look through the related pages in our illustrated history encyclopedias and the books we have picked up at the library.

Life Science : 1x a week
I am letting the kids lead a bit on this one. I asked Hannah to make a list of animals she would like to study. We've been working through that and loosely using our Life Science Lessons. She fills out a "fact sheet" on each animal and reads books from the library. The last two weeks we have focused on apples and tadpoles. Photos to come, but we are raising frogs (got the tadpoles last week). Hannah will journal their development, etc.

Independent Work : 4x a week
Hannah has an independent work binder with a tab for each school day (4 days a week). At the beginning of each week, I fill the binder. This is working very well for us. Subjects included are Spelling Workout A (1 chapter a week), Handwriting, Copywork, and Explode the Code 3 (2 lessons a week).

Art : 1 or 2x a week
We have studied Van Gogh and are now on Seurat, with a field trip to the National Gallery coming up. We spend a lot of time painting and drawing. I am hoping to start using Mona Brookes, Drawing with Children soon.

Music : 1 or 2x a week
We are really enjoying our composer studies. This month, we are learning about Bach. I picked up Classical Kids, Mr. Bach Comes to Call DVD at our library - the kids enjoyed that. We spend a lot of time listening to Bach (and last month's composer - Vivaldi). When Hannah and Will wanted to put on a Bach CD a few days ago, Peter asserted himself by saying, "No, I like Mr. Vivaldi's music better." I bought the Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers series. (and the Greatest Artists, too). They are fun books and compliment our lessons well. This week we will begin learning about the woodwind instruments.

Geography : 1x a week
We're focusing on US states this fall. Hannah's US map placemat has been a great teaching tool. I wanted her to know all the states so we could have some fun with coloring red states and blue states on election day. We are also talking a little about state populations and election results. This site is great for geography games.


Math : 4x a week
Will loves math. I have been making things up for him using math manipulatives and various workbooks, but we are both ready for something more. I have ordered Singapore Math Earlybird Mathematics. I'll let you know how it goes...

Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading : 4x a week
We are cruising through this. He's thrilled when he spots a word that he knows. I'm holding off on the Get Ready, Get Set and Go for the Code books until he has more confidence with handwriting.

Handwriting Without Tears : 4x a week
This is a great program for Will. He's made huge progress in print!


He is just very busy being two!

Friday *Fun* Trip : Cox Farms

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it,
and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth
seeking the successive autumns."
- George Eliot
We took the kids to Cox Farms in Centreville, Virginia yesterday.
Their Fall Festival is a harvest wonderland!
Farmer Jack is a friend of ours. Hilarious!
My husband is officiating his wedding in a few weeks. Hayrides and Kettle Corn We all enjoyed the slides......and the rope swings. We picked out our pumpkins. Will loves all things orange.
He couldn't have been more excited about this car.
Serious Fall Fun!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Field Trip : Apple Picking

Homestead Farm is one of our favorite spots.
I love getting out of the city...
...and having my kids experience beautiful open spaces,

eat crisp apples right off the tree,

(How exactly do you eat an apple with no front teeth?) ...see farm animals do tricks, and admire farm equipment.
Tomorrow we make apple pie!
and applesauce, apple butter, apple crisp... we picked way too many! : )

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

School Pictures

When I told my mom of our plans to homeschool, one of her first comments was, "You'll still take school pictures, right?"

Mom, these are for you...

Hannah, First Grade

Will, Pre-K

Peter, 2

Streams Academy

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Tooth Fairy... a little early

Will bumped his front tooth one too many times. A few weeks ago, he was complaining about his tooth... it looked darker than it had (from the first injury) and seemed a bit loose. Off to our dentist (LOVE her... if you need a good pediatric dentist in DC, let me know). She urged me to be conservative and make an appointment with the oral surgeon to get it outta there. My four year old with no front tooth seemed so sad... so, I get a second opinion. Dr. Second Opinion says to wait three months and it's no big deal. Great... I call our dentist back and tell her we want to wait. OK, she says, but only for 4 weeks and don't leave town with out an antibiotic. Suddenly, I feel irresponsible. One week passes. Then Saturday morning (Why?!! do things like this always happen on Saturdays!?), that tooth has a painful abscess. That tooth shouldn't be there anyway. Should've been conservative. I feel terrible! The oral surgeon sees him Sunday morning*, but can't pull it until this morning. He's miserable all weekend. This morning, it's out. All is right with Will again. And for me... another mom lesson learned the hard way.

*Precisely the time I was to be running the Army 10-Miler. Bummer.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Field Trip Friday : The Kennedy Center

This morning, I took Hannah and Will to the Kennedy Center for a National Symphony Orchestra "Kinderkonzert," Strings & Stories. This fit in perfectly with our September study of the string section.

After the concert, we enjoyed the views of the Potomac and DC on the terrace. (The Lincoln Memorial is just above Hannah's head.)

We have a good friend who works at the Kennedy Center, so we met up for a special tour. The kids were able to see all the beautiful stages and rooms, peek into orchestra pits, see the President's box, and go backstage.

A few highlights....
The Concert Hall.
The Opera House. The President's box for the Opera House.
Putting on their own Millennium Stage performance.


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