Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday, Monday

I suppose like most people, I do not particularily enjoy Monday's. It seems most Monday's tend to start a bit rough, trying to get back into our weekly rhythm after a weekend of loose structure. Today, I was determined to change that! We used to start our mornings (after breakfast and chores) with a walk around neighborhood and somewhere along the line, probably with the colder weather, those walks ceased. However, we have been having some unseasonably warmer weather and this Monday morning, the sun was beckoning us to come outside and join the birds. I find that no matter how grumpy one or all of us are, our moods are lightened after being outside.

buds on our Maple tree-spring is almost here!
The walk was wonderful! The morning air was warm and the birds were singing and warming our hearts. Everyone was smiling and all of the grumpies were washed away. We now could begin our schooling time on a good note! Jacob was able to finish his consonant block today while Blake worked on a bit of math and some Old Testament composition. But we just couldn't stay indoors for very long...
big brothers make great wagon pullers

There were lots of wagon rides, bike races, scootering, tree climbing, and bird watching.

After lunch and quiet time, we headed back outdoors. The wind picked up quite a bit, but that didn't stop us from enjoying our time outside. The sidewalk chalk made its appearance again and now the driveway is covered in beautiful art.

Generally after spending a lot of time outside, the boys need to balance that energy with some downtime. So the rest of the early evening was spent playing cards and games. The games have been packed up since our move as I haven't found quite the right spot for them yet in this house. But the time away allowed for a new found interest that kept them happily playing while I prepared dinner. Follow up dinner with bedtime routines, some laughs and some reading and that was our day!
On another note, MaKenna is continuing to amaze me in her growth. She is becoming quite the little person and somedays I can hardly believe how big she is! Why just two days ago she was saying "dada" and "mama" and yesterday we became daddy and mommy. She loves, loves, loves to sing and while I don't always know what she is singing, it is beautiful none the less. She is a perfect mixture of rough and tumble and sweetness-tackling her brothers one minute in a playful wrestling match and then kissing her baby and rocking it the next! After having three boys, I wasn't quite sure what to expect with a girl. And maybe I still don't. She is afterall her own being. I am soaking it all in for sure and I would be lying if I didn't say there are days I long for that little, cuddly newborn, but she is oh so much fun!

my own little kitty
I couldn't help taking these next pictures. Jacob was in the middle of telling me how "Blake was being unfair" and I think these photos sum up the intensity that is Jacob. He has a true choleric temperament...all fiery and passionate. When he is happy, he is really happy, and when he is mad...well, you get the picture. He also suffers from middle child syndrome (and I can relate being a middle child myself). A lot of things are unfair according to him, but in the end, I think he just wants his voice to be heard (and is it ever!). Jacob knows how to push my buttons like no other, but he is also one of the funniest little dudes and has a laugh that is infectious. Life is definitely more interesting because of him!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Feelin the love

mommy's gift from daddy- tulips and irises!

daddy made kitties for Kenna
mama made gnomes for the kids (kenna's is not pictured- it's pink)
a lego heart gifted to me from Blake

Valentine's from my boys (only a few of the many that were made!)

window heart transparancies

Valentines in the making

Valentines for our friends

more Valentines for our friends!
The last week has been spent creating lots of "love". We try to keep Valentine's Day fairly simple, but it always is just enough to make it special. This year, in addition to the felt gnomes, the kids all received a small pot and seeds (strawberries for the boys, forget me nots for Kenna) and a sweet treat. We spent the rest of the day crafting Valentines to exchange with our homeschool co-op friends and to play outside in the beautiful spring like weather! Yesterday was our Valentine exchange and when I was making Parker's bed up for the night, I found all his Valentines under his pillow! For Parker, that is where all his most prized treasures end up and it was sweet to see how much he loved those handmade cards from his friends!

Fairy House Festival

This past weekend we were able to participate in the annual Fairy House festival for the first time. It was a beautiful afternoon and lots of fairies were out! To be honest, I was a bit surprised that there weren't more boys at the boys have always loved fairies and making fairy houses! The festival is held at one of our nature preserves. They set aside a trail in which you can build your fairy house (or gnome home) as well as admire everyone else's hard work. I believe the fairy's and gnomes were quite pleased with all the new houses.

Our fairy home-two story with a swing to help pass the time
close up of the swing- can you see it?
moss was used to create a soft carpet for the fairies to rest upon

laying a foundation of bark under the swing
There were a lot of really great houses built. Here are a sampling of some of our favorites!

We all had a wonderful time creating our special home for the fairies. We look forward to going back and visiting as well as participating again next year.

Pinewood Derby Race

This past Saturday was the Pinewood Derby Race. Oh my, the boys were so excited. In fact, Jacob had a difficult time sleeping the night before! Lots of hard work went into the completion of their cars. We are very proud to say that they did MOST of the work (and it was obvious that that wasn't the case for most of the cars entered into the race!). Both Blake and Jacob did very well on their individual heats- they each had four races with their cars. Jacob consistantly placed 2nd, while Blake one a first place blue ribbon for one of his heats. Unfortunately, they did not score fast enough to bring home a trophy, but they did not seem to mind as they had so much fun watching their cars.

Daddy and Parker's car, entered in the open class race
Blake's red racer

Jacob's black mobile

MaKenna did very well during the whole race (we were there for 2.5 hours). She was happy to watch the cars go by as well as cheer on the racers. Occasionally, she would hop from lap to lap and of course, eat.

Jakey's car is in the second lane from the right

eagerly watching the outcome

Blake's car is the second from the left
There were many more races that took place over the course of the weekend. Lots of plans and ideas are in the works for next years race as well!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A little bit of this and a little bit of that

Just a little bit of what we have been up to...

a little bit of painting

A little bit of Kenna cuteness. I so love this age. Even when she is angry or throwing a tantrum, I just want to eat her up!

Look at the bed head!

cute heiney (or potty learning attire)

playing with beeswax
Here is a sampling of what the boys have been doing during school. We are nearing the end of our Language Arts block for both of them. Blake has been hearing stories from the Old Testament and Jacob has been continuing on with learing the consonants through fairy tales by the Grimm brothers.

Noah's ark- a collaboration between Blake, Daddy and I


clay model of Rebecca at the well (Old Testament story)

Tower of Babel main lesson book page

Isaac and Sarah

Summary of an Old Testament story. All of Blake's writing is now in cursive.

Abraham and Isaac illustration

Jacob's letter page (Snow White)


The Nixie of Mill Pond
We will be finishing up our Language Arts block next week for both boys and then it is on to math! Blake will be doing a consolidative review of everything we have learned this year and Jacob will be introduced to the four processes (through a story about gnomes).