Monday, June 02, 2014

Handwriting….It Sucks.

I hate handwriting.  I have horrible penmanship, always have.  I hate teaching handwriting, but on the classical education road my family stumbles along we teach it and put a stress on it.  It.  Is.  Difficult.  But it matters, I know this because I see the fruits…eventually.  Once they are of an age where they are writing with ease (pardon the pun homeschool nerds!) I am happy we struggled through it (even if there were days I wanted to slump into a corner, draw my knees to my chest, rock back and forth, muttering, "It's a 'B'!!  It's not that hard!!  Just write the stinking 'B'!!!).  All of my children have developed the wonderful skill of retention, much of it thanks to the task of copy work and dictation.  every.  single.  day.   Not all of them have beautiful penmanship (they come by it honest), but they can hear something, retain it, write it and recite it.  Brain builders.


http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/03/science/whats-lost-as-handwriting-fades.html?hp&_r=0

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Otis Meets The Swans

While at The River House, Otis, our 5 month old puppy, met the resident Potomac Hissing Swans.  They hated him, but he loved them :-)   Listen closely for the hissing.



Monday, May 05, 2014

End of an Incredible School Year

In one sense, I cannot believe how fast the time has gone.  How can we be the parents of a now 8th grader, 6th grader, 2nd/3rd grader and a K/1st grader??  And how am I a homeschooler???   Looking back on our path it is all quite amazing.  It doesn't really make sense, but I am thrilled with our decisions and of course can see God's guiding hand through it all.

The kids have continued to amaze me in their capacity to learn and more so in their love of learning.  I take no credit!!  Really when I give in to temptation and listen to all of the other homeschool parents I am surrounded by, their creativity, their fun lesson plans, etc., I quickly realize  that I am the laziest homeschool mom ever.  But whatever, it works for us.

Since the kids worked so, so hard this year we decided to blow off some steam and go down to our favorite place on The Potomac, The River House.  Though it is a tiny place with really no amenities (save the beautiful river!!!), my kids love it here.  We lived here for a year (one. very. long. year.) while we were building our current home in Stafford.  Though Todd & I thought at times we would never survive, it really is one of the best years our family ever had.  As soon as we walked into the little cottage last night Everett (7YO) exclaimed, "MAN!  I love the smell of this place!!  It's my FAVORITE smell!"  This little place holds so many awesome memories for the kids, especially the littles.  But there are quite a few I remember too: 1.  Todd & I were married here in the yard.  2. Kayaking…lots and lots of kayaking.  3. The hundreds of pounds of fish that have been caught from this beach.  4.  Cleaning fish, assembly line style, with the kids in the side yard and then eating them.  5.  Everett running naked around the house, yard and sometimes neighborhood, daily.  6. Maisie learning to walk and then very soon after RUN.  7.  Everett getting a fly trap stuck to his head.  8.  Bald Eagles.  9.  The washing machine that had the broken agitator and would literally fly like a bullet out of the machine at times on the spin cycle.  And how the kids would scatter.  LOL!!  10.  Cooking dinner during the winter while wearing a parka because the kitchen has no insulation…or heat.  11.  That STUPID huge crab that almost broke my toe, me screaming…seriously screaming…then looking up and seeing my 4 scared children staring at me, then trying to play it off like it was no big deal, so they wouldn't be scared of the water….we all invested in water shoes after that!

Yep, lots and lots of memories here.

This week I hope to give the kitchen a little fresh paint, hang some new curtains and re-do the shutters.  The kids will undoubtedly play in the and sand make more memories.  Good stuff, all of it.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ev loses his first tooth

Everett lost his first tooth while at the ball field last night.   He is officially a big kid.  He said, "It's like having a nose bleed in your mouth!"  Nice.
Maisie was thoroughly disgusted and said she never wants anyone to "pick her teeth out".


Monday, September 09, 2013

Maisie's First Day of School

Today it was Maisie's turn to have a first day of school :-)  This year she is in a half day program geared 5YO's who have late birthdays.   Maisie is in the Outstanding Owl class and she is sooooo excited :-)


Tuesday, August 06, 2013

VBS 2013

This week has been so hectic and crazy.  Getting my crew up and out of the house by 8:00 am consistently in the summer time is no easy task.  But my, oh my, has it been worth it!
I am helping my friends Camm, Jenny, Heather and Jo put on their annual VBS at church.  The work these ladies do every year is unmatched!  And the kids they serve are AMAZING!  So many are from the surrounding neighborhood and this is their only chance to hear, and more importantly see and feel The Gospel.  To watch these kids transform throughout the week is just the greatest.
One of the kids in my "crew", who up to now has been sooooo quiet and reserved, almost angry at times, asked me to pray for his mom because she is homeless in D.C.  I wanted to cry.  But I didn't I just gave him a big hug and said, "Sure!".
I did not realize how much I missed serving these kids!  Yes, they are a pain and unruly at times, but I really do love being with them.  I had forgotten how much of a difference I can make when I allow God to use me.   Over the past several years, I have not served, not in the way God made me to.  This week my heart feels full again.  And not only mine, but my kids', especially Quentin, who is helping lead a different group of kids with one of my BFF's dad.
It has been an amazing week so far!  I can't wait to go back tomorrow :-)

 Squeeze the Sponge...Classic.


 Esther the Queen

 Craft time w/ Mrs. Adler

 E. and his "Belt of Truth"
 Best VBS game ever!  LOL!


 Team Work


 Dance Time!!

 I swear this kid is made of 45% rubber!  He is AMAZING, especially for 7YO!  I am determined to get some better pics this week :-)


Monday, July 29, 2013

275th Fredericksburg Agricultural Fair

Ah!  The Fair!  I LOVE the fair!  I love the rides, I love the smells, I love the carnies!  I find it all absolutely hysterical.
Today my sister, Thomasina, took our 2 oldest to her house for a couple of days.  Todd and I decided to take the little kids to the fair, which is in town this week.  Oh, it was fun!  From watching the kids enjoy the rides to listening to the carnies try to get us to play their games.


We always visit the animals first.  Maisie and Everett were really disappointed in the chickens.  They both suggested that Chicken Scratch should definitely enter a few of our flock next year "to show them some REALLY nice chickens!" (Everett)
Then it was on to the rides!!  Maisie is our roller coaster lover.  The faster the better.  Everett, while not a fan of the faster rides, will NEVER be out done (especially by this little sister).    

 These little cars were their FAVORITE ride!  I can remember riding 
these SAME cars when I was little.  

 The Scrambler!!  One of my favorites!!

  The Tilt-A-Whirl was hysterical!  They came around about three times and both were all smiles.  The fourth time around Maisie was still smiling, but Ev was looking a little green.  He made it through without puking :-)
On the Ferris Wheel with Everett & Maisie

 View from the top :-)
 We stopped to see the animals one last time before heading home.  Maisie was tuckered out.  
 Everett closed down the fair with a pony ride on his steed "Geronimo".  He said next time he was going to bring his cowboy hat and pistol.  haha!
Yes, I do love a trip to the fair!