Saturday, January 31, 2009

We've been busy this week

baking + drawing + singing + dancing + reading + meeting other local homeschooling girls + playing rummy 500 + writing letters + crafting "small bowls of fruit" out of play-doh + painting + making a 550 pc. puzzle + blogging + talking to our grandparents on the phone + doing math workbooks + watching movies + fighting crime on Poptropica + googling for info on right whale dolphins + boning up on "cool facts" about our country's Presidents and First Ladies + talking about eating a pig's tail + catching snowflakes on our tongues + making Valentine's + going to the library + taking pictures with our cameras + playing with our "wooden dolls" + folding laundry + playing Go Fish + eating Pirate's Booty + going to see Mall Cop + pretending we run a hotel for dogs + building sculptures out of cool mint creme Oreo cookies... among other things.

Guess who traded balance beams for ballet shoes?

And she couldn't be happier.

Friday, January 30, 2009

A, B, See... I


that quality which distinguishes one person or thing from another

Friday, January 23, 2009

Gianna loves Pastry - but young love is fickle.

Gianna drew these in Drawing I yesterday, for her mid term exam. These are the sneakers she had to have, and bought for herself... three days before Christmas. Yesterday, she made me go online to show me a pair of sneakers she saw at a store while out shopping with her Dad on Wednesday night, Skechers Super Fly sneakers. A pair of sneakers she just has to have.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pardon my (daughter's) French

My oldest daughter has half days of school this week while she takes her midterm exams. This afternoon, she was at the table studying for tomorrow's French and Algebra II exams, when Shaye sidled up to her carrying two whiteboards and wearing her sweetest grin. "Gianna, will you teach me French?" she asked and gave an excited "Bonjour!" when Gianna said, "Sure, you can help me study."

They quickly ran through numbers, colors- all of the basics- and then it was on to what Gianna needed to study for French II:

After a while, Shaye put in a special request... how do you say "I love books." in French?

Gianna, tired of all my picture snapping said,
"Mom, take a picture of this one to put on your blog..."

Wait for it...

Ahhh... 14 year olds.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A, B, See... B

Monday, January 19, 2009

A, B, See... A

Stomach bug blues? Yup, we've got 'em. And what do you tell a 4 year old who is upset by the fact that her sisters have already recovered and are eating a cup of ice cream for snack? You tell her you have a GREAT idea for a snack for her and you come up with these...

{applesauce} "pops"

Sunday, January 18, 2009

that precious time

"The only thing we have control over is how we spend the time, that precious time." -Elizabeth Edwards

I have loved that quote since the first time I read it, but I don't think I've ever really thought about it. Oh sure, I don't try not to sweat the small stuff, I play with the kids over, say, washing the floor- but is that really enough? Adding homeschooling to our family's, to my already overflowing days has been stressful. Oh sure, it's been fun, and interesting, but truth be told, it's also been stressful. Trying to fit in everything I need to do and everything I want to do, well... it's just not working out. The other night I sat down and thought long and hard about how this is going to go.

First, I had to rethink my goals. I decided it was important to me to provide the girls with interesting learning opportunities daily, keep our house clean, keep the laundry done, have something to offer for dinner each night , and be able to spend time with the older girls each day after they get home from school. Those are my "need to" s and they haven't really changed.

It was on to my "want to" list. Taking pictures, reading books, blogging, talking with John at night- these are all things I do that make me happy, give me energy, make me feel more like me. So there was no wiggle room there. What did that leave? Television. We have 3 DVR's in our home and I, personally, have shows taped on all three for future viewing. The fact that listing some of the titles embarrasses me (90210, The Real Housewives of the OC) was a pretty good indicator to me that here was a change I could make for the better. I wiped out my DVRs. I did. I might regret it tomorrow, when for the first time in three seasons, I will miss an episode of Brothers & Sisters, but for the moment, I am feeling really good about my decision.

I feel like I have more time already, time for all the things that make my life beautiful.

A, B, See... V

{video} games

and also for V-Tech, the game Shaye is playing, the one that is supposed to be Mackenna's now that Shaye got her coveted Nintendo DS.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The letter of the day is yummy!

Inspired by the girls wanting to bake these chocolate chip cookies yesterday...

I declared "C"- the letter of the day on Thursday afternoon.

In the course of a busy day, it sometimes gets tricky to make sure I am offering challenging opportunities to both girls- being that they are a little over 2 years in age apart and also that Shaye is reading/building vocabulary at about a fifth/sixth grade level and Mackenna is still learning her letters. So I was hoping to bend this whole letter of the day idea to fit both girls' needs.

It was pretty easy with Mackenna- all of your standard letter of the day activities- culminating with baking, then eating, the chocolate chip cookies on Friday.

With Shaye I tried, "Write a list of all of the words you can think of that start with C" (nothing too inspiring) and then, "Write a few sentences about something that starts with C." Her paper, typed here exactly how she wrote it, cracked me up:

Letter of the day is C.

Tomorrow Mommy, I and Mackenna are going to make Mommy's secret recipe to make Chocolate Chip Cookies. MMM. Cookies are MMM. I like Cookies. I also like cats. Cats can't eat cookies. Cookies can't eat cats.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A, B, See... C

{chocolate chip cookies}


{caramel} dipping sauce


The Next Design Star(s)

The other day, the girls were off in another room, playing dolls- or so I thought- when I went to check the mail. I found a package of sweet paper cutouts, that I ordered from Little Bit Funky, in the mailbox and I brought them right in to the girls. Well, wasn't I surprised to find them playing on rooms they had designed for their dolls and they were only too happy to grab glue sticks and add hearts and cupcakes to the decor.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

You made my week...

WhiMSy love- who threw in some extra little goodies with my order.

Tiff- who is putting the gift I ordered for her to good use. **Glad you like it!**

(Order your own personalized coffee sleeve here.)

Little Bit Funky- Whose package of sweet paper cutouts provided hours of fun for the littles.

Elexis- For numerous reasons (Facebook tips, discounts, etc.) that add up to you being a great friend.

Jess- For another super cute blog design and for giving me more tech support than I deserve.

Edie- For the most delicious chocolate chip shortbread cookie recipe ever. And for offering me thoughts on religion in a serving size I can manage.

The Girlie Shop for creating these darling necklaces...

and sending them to Elexis's little girls for me.

Who made your week?

Today I ate my words

Apparently, in a fit of exhaustion, while picking up expo markers all over the house for the umpteenth time yesterday, I said, "White boards are for school use only." Gasp. I wouldn't. Yeah, I guess I would... and did. I don't even remember saying it, except as Shaye just ran by me with her white board and the basket of expo markers tucked under her arm, she tossed, "My doll needs my whiteboard for math, Mom, and since you said white boards are only for school, it's okay that I'm using it. For my doll. For her math." over her shoulder. I guess deschooling really is a process, not a decision. I'm working on it.

A, B, See... M

{macerating} berries

Monday, January 12, 2009

The girl lives to learn and isn't that the point?

Where did I find Shaye this past Saturday morning? Curled up in a corner, "secretly" reading Brielle's (6th grade) Science textbook. A chapter about the Solar System. Once she was "discovered", she had about a hundred questions- what's a probe, why can't we visit Mars if we can visit the moon, etc., etc.- I told her to keep reading. ;) Later, I see her "sneak" by with paper and colored pencils. Not too long after that, she shows me this...

and tells me, "I know it's Saturday but I really wanted to do some school". I guess one of my homeschooling goals should be to get her out of the school system's frame of mind that learning is something you do at school- on a schedule.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A, B, See... S

{snowman} pancakes

And I've got to point out...

they were a big hit!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

PhotoHunt: Aftermath

The aftermath of the littles'

spur of the moment

two hour

Valentine making marathon


Friday, January 9, 2009

So far today...

I spent a little time preparing the drawing for my giveaway,

and enlisted the help of my littles...

Mackie picked a winner:

Then the girls were inspired to create their own little lovelies...

and Shaye held her own drawing-

to see who would receive "the best" valentine.

It was Mackenna.

It may have been rigged.

What are you doing today?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

5 things I love today

I was tagged a few days ago by Artmind to post about 5 everyday loves of mine. Well, if I am not to include my family, my everyday "loves" change daily. Here's what I'm loving today...

Yup, Safeguard beige.

You see, I had to go to CVS in my pajamas this morning to buy this bar of soap in order to be able to take a shower. Because no one in my family thought it was necessary to tell me we were down to our last bar of soap- last time.

Hershey kisses...

okay, this one pretty much is an every day one.

The boots I got for Christmas.

Because it's cold and icy outside.

That this picture was taken yesterday,

and not today.

We had our first local homeschool gathering to get to today.

That this pile of clothes (and then some!)

got folded and put away while we were housebound.

And that all of the dishes got done yesterday too.

My white trash "green" clothes drying rack.

(Hey, it works.)

And, last but not least, my "lunch date".

Right now, right here, with you.

Hmm... seems I turned it more into a "I'm loving" post, and I listed more than five, so I'm going to go ahead and break one last rule... instead of tagging 5 people to do this on their blogs, I'm going to invite everyone to do it- if you want to. Just let me know when it's up, so I can come share the love!

What are your five everyday loves?

Monday, January 5, 2009

A, B, See... R

{ reading }

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Relax? What's that?!??

Shaye just couldn't wait to "start" homeschooling and once she saw that the weekly planner John bought me, to keep a record of our adventures in, actually had a page for Weds, Dec. 31, 2008, there was no stopping her. So Wednesday, Thursday, and yesterday have been filled with Math facts, practicing cursive writing, and, of course, lots of reading. Books on Barack Obama, all of the presidents and first ladies, Magic Schoolbus books, Harold and the Purple Crayon books (hey, she may be smart, but she is still six) , Dora books, Little House in the Big Woods, and oh, yeah, two Hannah Montana chapter books. As I type this, she is in the kitchen- writing and illustrating a book. And John has the crazy notion that he is going to get gym memberships for us today... where am I going to find time for that?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmas morning 2009

I didn't take many pictures of Christmas morning this year. The older girls were against any photos of them being taken before they got dressed (I did sneak in one of Brielle) and because the gifts were getting opened all around me at the speed of light. So here's a small medley (you can click on the collage to view in full size)...

Hope your holidays were happy!