Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Greshem Cronicles

 A few weeks ago started one of the many free Kindle books I have "bought". The Widow of Larkspur Inn is still free for any that want to give it a try. You won't be disappointed. It is a lovely Christian story about family that moves to the small village in England. After reading the first book on my Kindle I looked for the next book in the series and luckily my library had the rest of the books there so I quickly make my way through them.

 This series reminded me a bit of Cranford because of the small community with the interesting characters. It also reminded me a bit of the Midford series because the vicar's family is the main thread through the entire series. However, you do get a good look at many of the different characters that in habit the village of Gresham and become quite attached to them. It is always fun to catch glimpses of some of the characters that played a bigger role in one story show up in the next but in a background roll this time. A little update on their progress or lives is always welcome.

I was sorry to see the series end. Perhaps, I will have to see what else Lawana Blackwell has written.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Keeping busy with Scouts!

Ian LOVES being a cub scout. He is now in the Bear Den. I really like the Den Leaders. They send homework home with the boys to do during the week. 

A week ago the boys went through knife safety and even made some cardboard knives to take home. Ian also came home with a bar of Ivory soap that he needed to carve. The leader also sent a little pattern for a bear. So Ian got to work and used my little key chain knife to carve his bar of soap.

 I think it turned out pretty good! Henry was beside himself to do this homework assignment also. He wanted to raid my soap stash and start scraping away but I had to explain Ivory soap is very soft. The bars of soap we have are not as easy to carve into as this one. I need to get to the dollar store or someplace where I can find a few bars of Ivory soap so Henry can give this one a try too.
 It was also Pinewood Derby time. Ian got to go to the sawdust shop with his Dad and shape his block of wood into a car.  He decided to go with a Red paint job with yellow lightning bolts.
His car didn't win any awards but he had a good time making it.

This little lady had a great time cheering for all the cub scouts.

Friday, January 18, 2013

School Work

School is back on and we should be back to doing everything but...... we still have such a hard time getting everything in.. So for the past two weeks this is what we have accomplished.

History - Nada.  We haven't read any of the library books I have on the shelf or even listened to the Story of the World CDs.

Science - We are supposed to be starting our Geology unit. But so far all we have done is read about maps and about longitude and latitude lines and perhaps a bit about different maps we may see each day. We haven't actually moved on to the actual earth science stuff but any day now we will get started. I printed out the worksheets so we are ready. I just need to make sure it happens.

Could I count watching almost every Magic School bus episode. I gave the DVDs of the Magic School Bus: The Complete Series to Molly for Christmas and my kids have almost worked there way through all 52 episodes. I don't know if that is actually true. They are watching all the ones they haven't ever seen and a few of the ones that they really like. I guess if they are going to watch t.v. Magic School Bus is better than other things.

We have been reading a lot about the antarctic and penguins. I guess that counts as science. I have the boys reading Mr. Poppers Penguins and doing a little unit on penguins to go along with it. I was going to count that as Language arts but since we haven't actually gotten around to writing the report or much of the lapbook elements for it, I guess it should count as science.

Language Arts - Not much. No Fit-it for the older two and no IEW writing for any of them. They have written in their journals a few times but it isn't everyday like I would like.  Sophie and Ian have had to write a little bit for each of their online classes so I guess that can be LA.

Math - This is the easiest one to get done. My kids do one exercise everyday without fail. It is just the most automatic thing for them to do after scripture study each morning. They don't even complain. There are some tears from Henry when he gets frustrated with his math but he doesn't fight the subject. Henry finished Singapore 2B and instead of moving on to 3A I gave him an extra practice book for Singapore 2B and he will fly through that before we move on. Ian is still plugging away at 4B. Decimals don't seem to be giving him much trouble. He is going to quickly catch up to Sophie. She is doing well with Teaching Textbooks 6.

Piano - Practice everyday is the goal but Henry always seems to get out of it somehow. After hearing the other two practice I must forget to have him run through his songs too. His playlist checklist is rather blank for this week. But tonight when I had him play the songs the piano teacher specifically requested he practice he was able to do them without too much trouble.  Ian does fine but has no patience and just wants to get done so he plays everything at about double speed.  Sophie is very precise in her playing and takes a long time to run through her whole playlist each day.

Audio books - We are making our way through the Little house on the Praire series. Farmer boy is the read aloud for bedtime and we have finished By the Shores of Silver Lake and are listening to The Long Winter right now. My kids seem to really be liking them again. We tried this series awhile back but after the first three books they sort of lost interest. We got sidetracked into some other series or something so never finished the series. But I have Little Town on the Praire waiting in the CD queue by the radio when we make it through this one.  I just have to say this is a great one to listen to on Audio book because all the songs are performed and when Pa plays his fiddle they have fiddle music. It is great!

Online Classes
Sophie's online classes are going well. She was surprised by how much she is enjoying her spanish class. She loves the composers class because it is taught by the same teacher that taught her Beautiful Girlhood class last fall. And her Literature class has been great. She had to rewrite a parable last week and is now reading all sorts of poetry for this weeks assignment.

Ian's two classes are keeping him busy as well. He enjoys the art class and the assignments so far have been a tessellation and this week he just has to draw or paint something that uses certain principles and elements of art.  Henry was excited to get to do this homework assignment too. I had everyone paint penguins. I think Henry will enjoy doing the homework assignments right along with Ian.  Ian's geography class assigned him to put together a little introduction essay about where he lives and little about himself.

Lets see... P.E.  - We played Basketball, rollar bladed and took a number of walks around the block. Henry is still doing gymnastics but Ian decided he wanted to do other things with his school money so isn't going with Henry to gym anymore.

So that is about it. There is certainly room for improvement but for now I think we are doing about all I can get my little guys to do.

Playing with the other Cousins

My sister lives on the other side of the USA. We talk via ichat quite often but don't see them in person and play with them pretty much at all. My sister was in town for work and a family wedding so the girls got to come over and play with us one day last week. I am finally getting around to putting the pictures here on my blog. I have had my nose in a book or my kindle when I had free time and just haven't felt compelled to blog I guess. 

 Molly was in heaven with a cousin her age to play with. Good thing we have a few princess dresses for these girls to wear. Molly wasn't totally excited about sharing her toys but was able to let her cousins try a few things.

 Henry particularly loved his baby cousin. She is just over a year old and Henry just loved making her laugh.

 After playing inside for a bit I figured it was time to get outside to play for a bit. We took a bike/scooter ride around the block.
 Herding these 2 three year olds was a little frustrating. They kept wanting to go into everyone's yards. I don't know how people do twins. These two kept me on my toes all the way around our block.  I seriously was herding cats!

 Sophie was such a big help since she took the baby in the stroller and kept her happy.
 The princess dresses went back on once we were back inside.
 They set up some thrones

 This is the drama queen Molly explaining that we have two princesses but don't have any princes.
 Thanks for letting us have your two girls for the day, Auntie. It was a lot of fun!
Hopefully we will be able to get together again soon. Soon meaning within the next few years. We just don't make it to the east coast often.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Little P.E.

Ian got a new basket ball for his birthday. Now there are three balls, one for each kid. With the sun shinning and the driveway dry I figured it was a good morning to get out for a little Physical Education.  Since I have to turn in pictures of my kids doing P.E. I took the camera out with me too.

The kids did a few dribbling drills.

 They learned how to pass the ball. It took a long time before the boys figured out that the goal wasn't to bounce it so hard it goes over the receiver's head.  Eventually the balls started to actually go to the person intended.

 Then we finally started shooting baskets.  This is always what the boys want to do. They don't care about dribbling and passing. We tried a few lay-ups. With the hoop so low they were able to do these quite easily.

 Then went for a few free throws.

My kids are getting too big for the short hoop we have. They can slam dunk it pretty easily and it doesn't go any higher. I guess it is time to get a taller hoop. It would certainly make shooting hoops a little more of a challenge.  How did my kids get too big for their hoop already?!