Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Oh, Deer

We had a little run in with Bambi this past weekend. All of us were piled in the car on our way to Hannah's soccer game when the deer came flying across the street and ran in to us.

So, so thankful for shatterproof glass as Hannah was covered with it. Not a scratch on her. Her reaction, "Does this mean I am going to miss the game?" We actually did make it.

We're not so sure about the deer. It staggered away.

Can you see the deer hair all over the car? Yuck.

This was before we turned on the A/C in the house for the first time this season. 95 degrees in April??? Anyway, the A/C... broken. And then Sunday, my husband's computer crashes.

We were glad to see the weekend end.

All is well. The van is being fixed. The A/C is fixed... not that we need it anymore now that April is back. And a good friend was able to spend the whole afternoon Sunday bringing the computer back to life.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Monet's Garden

Our back garden is not nearly as lovely as Monet's. But with the dogwoods blooming and the azaleas about to explode, we just had to get out there and paint. Just like Mr. Monet.

Monet will be the last artist we will study this year. Will has asked if we can go to Giverny. Now that's my kind of field trip. Depending on how busy our May is, I'm hoping to take the kids to visit a famous garden or two - Longwood Gardens, US Botanic Garden, or maybe the National Arboretum (which will all fit in nicely with our science studies - Plants and Flowers). We'll finish our school year with a big trip to the National Gallery of Art.

A few of our favorite Monet books...

Love the Katie books!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Picnic on The Mall

It is a glorious spring day here!
We packed a lunch and soccer ball
and headed down to the WWII Memorial. Peter would rather play football... The World War II Memorial

While we were getting in our car, a motorcade passed. Exciting, as the kids have never seen one. I'm fairly certain the President is out of town, but the kids are sure it was him. : )

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Curriculum Thoughts

There is a Curriculum Fair in my area this weekend, so I've been busy researching and making lists. (I love this stuff!) I will be making a few changes next year. This year has been such a learning process... as I'm sure every year will be.

And next year Will will be a Kindergartener! I've never homeschooled a Kindergartener.

My early thoughts....

Hannah : 2nd grade/8 in November

Math - Saxon 3, with additional Singapore Workbooks ("Fun Math" as she calls it). I would switch to Singapore altogether, but she likes Saxon and I think it's a good fit for her.

First Language Lessons - We have used it this year and loved it. Though I have rarely used their poetry selections for memorization. I go to The Harp and Laurel Wreath for poetry.

Explode the Code - She'll start on Book 6 next year.

Spelling - I am considering Spelling Wisdom. I have heard so many good things about it. She did Spelling Workout this year and neither one of us really liked it. Hannah says it's "goofy."

Handwriting - Cursive. I am hoping to look through some books this weekend. I'm using Handwriting Without Tears with Will, but I don't like the look of their cursive writing. I'm a handwriting snob. : ) I actually don't really like the look of their print either, but Will's a lefty and the program works for him.

Science - Earth/Space is the plan. No idea what we will use. I have some ideas, but I'd love more...

History - I was planning to start using Mystery of History next year. Story of the World Vol. I has been ok. Hannah has not loved it. The main problem... it's Ancient History and she is all girl. There are not Ancient History American Girl dolls. Hmm.... Babylonian and Assyrian dolls with corresponding books and cute accessories, that would have really helped us. SOTW has lots and lots of battles, brutality, conquerors, weapons. Her interest level is pretty low. And, quite honestly, I love the book, but don't really like the SOTW Activity Guide. History has been the least favorite part of her year... and I was expecting it to be her favorite. I have to this point felt strongly about learning history chronologically, but she has been asking if we can study American History next year. (American Girl and Little House on the Prairie influence to be sure.) I'm considering the change and getting excited about it... because I want her to love history! Oh, and we live in American History Wonderland! With Will in K, I think I could more easily find something that would appeal to both of them. Looks like Mystery of History will have to wait for the year after next. Now to find an American History curriculum... Sonlight has one I am considering, but I really know very little about Sonlight.

Geography - I am looking forward to using A Child's Geography: Explore His Earth, along with other resources.

Foreign Language - I hope to start Spanish with Rosetta Stone Homeschool. But it's pricey. We'll see.

Will : Kindergarten/6 in December

Math - Probably Horizons K or Singapore for Will. Math seems to be his thing. He has worked though Singapore's K materials this year and loved it. For K, I want to try a new program since I don't already own one. And I don't really want to but blah looking Saxon in front of this kid for K.

Phonics - Continue with Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading. Explode the Code.

Handwriting - Handwriting Without Tears.

History, Science, Geography, Art and Music with Hannah.

Now that I type this out I see how many decisions I need to make. I thought I had a better grasp than I do. : )

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Celebrating the Resurrection!

Spending the day with friends that feel like family.

Hope you all had a blessed day!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Holy Week in our Home


Resurrection Eggs



Making Easter cards for family and friends. We glued the watercolor crosses to cards (folded pastel card stock).
Handprint Easter Lilies
Egg Carton Tulips
A Simple Cross. (Hannah bought this at Hobby Lobby in Florida.)

Tonight we will make Resurrection Rolls.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Whew! It takes some time to get back into a routine.

And with this week being Holy Week (with a pastor husband), local schools on Spring Break, and me exhausted from our time out of town/re-entry/kids going through grandparent detox... well, that makes it more of a challenge.

Every time I think of sitting down to blog, I am faced with all the have-to's that I also need to do. Routine... it's coming back. I can feel it.

Here are a few photos from my husband's around the world mission tour, where he and the senior pastor from our church met with people in Egypt and Japan, and attended a conference in Indonesia.

This was my husband's third trip to Cairo, so he didn't take many photos. They didn't visit the pyramids this time, but did go to Alexandria for a day.

The Nile from his hotel room in Cairo.
And if you know my husband, you won't be surprised that The Library of Alexandria was a highlight....Helicopter ride over Jakarta... someone sent him this picture. He didn't bring his camera along. I would love to have seen the view, too. : )Colorful Chinese architecture...

The Forbidden City, Beijing

The Great Wall and on to Japan....

Teaching at a seminary...
Catching up with missionaries from our church...
The cherry blossoms were out in Japan, just like DC. So a couple of Geishas were sent out to pose in front of the blossoms. Apparently, this doesn't happen often.Lots of people came to see...
And the food... oh my, I would surely go hungry in many of the places he visited. I'm all for sushi and fried rice, but duck hearts and congealed fish stuff are not for me. The lack of coffee in the East would be hard too. He did find a Starbucks in Beijing. : )

Here is a meal in Japan.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cars, Planes, and Time Zones

We've been traveling.

After 14 hours of driving on I-95 with too many other people, I pulled into the driveway last with my mom, the kids, and a very late dinner of take-out pizza.

Home. Sweet. Home. I'm ready for a return to normal after a couple weeks of not-so-normal.

My husband is on his way back around the globe (literally).... visiting Cairo, Jakarta, Beijing, Nagoya to name a few. Our phone conversations have been short and to the point - telling me he's safe, he loves me, and he won't be able to call again for a few days. I'm dying have a longer conversation, hear all the details, see all the pictures (these weeks without my camera have been tough).

When my husband began planning for his trip, I decided it would be a lovely time to visit my parents in Florida.

So, my sweet mom (who will do anything to have time with her grandkids) flew to DC, then drove with us to FL (which include a painfully long detour and getting hit by a semi - ok, more like tapped, but still!), took care of us for a week at her house, then rode all the way back to DC (patiently enduring more Are-we-there-yets? than anyone should). She spent a whole day sewing window treatments for our bathroom and then turned around to fly right back to FL. All so I wouldn't have to make the trip alone with the kids (and have ugly curtains in the bathroom). She's unbelievable. I'm beyond thankful. And to show her I drove her by the cherry blossoms on the way to the airport. Pitiful.

We had a great visit in Florida. My kids swam in the pool (as I marveled at their cold water tolerance). We spent a day at the beach with my sister's family. I got to catch up with old friends I haven't seen in years. We went to a Florida State/Florida baseball game.... No Pyramids or Great Wall, but still very fun.

Whew... it's good to be home.


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