Sunday, April 26, 2015

2015 Week in Review: #14 and #15


My husband is finally at home with us more, now that tax season is over. We're trying to get back into the swing of things and getting used to having him around at dinner time again.

Liam does a lot of standing now. He still crawls to get to where he wants to be, but as soon as he gets there he pulls himself up into a standing position. No more sitting on the floor playing with toys. He wants to see everything (and destroy everything). Liam is now nine months old!




Every morning at breakfast, I read to the children. We usually start off with a scripture story (we're reading in the Old Testament right now) and then I read from a book of poetry. Bridget has very quickly memorized a couple of the poems I read to her. It wasn't necessarily my intention (I was only trying to expose her to poetry), but now that I see she enjoys memorizing them, I am working more with her on that. If I am about to read a poem she already knows, she wants to say it instead of me reading it. Sometimes she still needs to be prompted with certain words, but I think she's doing great. Trying to get her to recite them to someone other than myself is more of a challenge because she gets very shy, but once she's done it she's proud and more confident.


We went on a last-minute field trip last week. I learned on Friday that the Nina and Pinta were going to be docked in Morehead City. Since we had recently covered Christopher Columbus, I took this as an excellent opportunity to do a little bit of review and give Bridget a special treat of being able to tour the ships (even if they are only replicas). Daddy and Grandma were also there, making the day that much more special.

The kids both loved the tiller at the back of the ships (especially George). Most of those photos were of the backs of their heads, but I did manage to get this one of Bridget giving me a real, unforced smile. I am glad she was having a good time!

The kids were also interested in this model of the Santa Maria. I couldn't get them to turn around for a picture this time. It took some effort to get them away from the model and off the ship, but we managed just in time, as it began to pour down rain as we made it back to the van.


We've begun the Magic Tree House series. It is a bit too advanced for Bridget to read by herself, so I am reading them to her. She loves adventure stories so I knew this would be a good fir for her. My intention was to take a couple of days to read one book, but we've ended up reading one book per reading session. I don't know if this series was around when I was a child, but I am glad they are around for my kids to enjoy.

We're also getting into the world of audio books. Our Strega Nona book came with an audio CD read by the author, so I used this as our guinea pig audio book to see if the kids would pay attention to the audio version. They did, and we must have listened to the story twenty times on the trip to and from Morehead City. With another trip coming up the following week, and not watching to have a repeat Strega Nona marathon (great story, but really !), we promptly ordered the Chronicles of Narnia audio books (this is my absolute favorite series). I hope the kids fall in love with Narnia just as I did.


 No food pictures this week, but I finally made a Tempeh Piccatta recipe I had been wanting to try (which turned out delicious) and we also ate at an amazing restaurant in Morehead City that had a lot of vegan/vegetarian menu items to choose from. There will be a separate post about that experience to be sure I don't forget about this place.

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Friday, April 10, 2015

2015 Week in Review: #11, #12, and #13


It's been a couple of weeks since my last post. We have been enjoying the warm spring days that have finally arrived after a long winter. The kids have spent a lot of time playing outside. Liam feels right at home in the swing. One afternoon, he was in there for an hour, just taking it all in. George gets right to work, doing the things that boys like to do. If he's not pretending to mow the grass, he's finding every stick and rock in the yard and going into battle. He's a wild one who needs to be watched closely.

Easter Sunday was also a very nice day. After a pancake breakfast (made by daddy), they went outside to hunt eggs. After the hunt, the kids remained outside with daddy while I was able to get a few things done inside (a homemakers job is never done).

Later that afternoon, we made an unplanned trip out of town to visit with my husband's parents. The cousins were also there and so there was another egg hunt. We had a good visit and did not get back until well after bed time.

This Easter, with my children getting older, really had me rethinking the whole Easter Bunny thing. I was raised to believe in the Easter Bunny and so was my husband. So naturally, we continued with the tradition. However, I am not seeing any benefit of it. It has already caused confusion for my 5 year old. I know it won't be long now until my second oldest will have the same questions. The answers simply do not make sense. Easter is a sacred time of reflection of Christ's sacrifice and a celebration of eternal life. My children know very well the story of Christ, and how he died on the cross and was later raised from the dead. In fact, it is one of Bridget's favorites. The Easter Bunny does nothing to reinforce that. Needless to say, after speaking with my husband about my concerns, things will be different in the future.

(Side note: I have nothing against bunnies and chicks and all of the other cute animals associated with spring. My only problem is when the bunny is morphed into a being otherwise known as Peter Cottontail, who tends to take the spotlight at Easter time.)



Bridget hit a major milestone this week. She does not like when it is time for her reading practice, but she knows there is no way around it. She's learning, and that is what is important. One evening, she picked up a book she had not read on her own before, opened it, and began reading. Big words, too. She was applying what she learned from our reading lessons and knew what sound the vowels made in various different words. She was amazed at what she had done. Something finally clicked. She actually had no idea that she knew how to sit down and read a story. The following morning, she read the same book to Daddy (he missed it the first time due to work) and later in the day read it to Papa. Normally, I cannot get her to read to anyone, but she proudly ran to get her book and read.


Bridget is doing great! Her fingers are moving rather quick now that they've gotten used to where they need to be. We'll be working on learning how to read notes.


We've been reading a lot of children's books lately, such as Tikki Tikki Tembo, Swimmy, Where the Wild Things Are, to name a few. We'll start back up with a classic novel again maybe next week. Not sure which one yet.


Lentil Loaf
Light & Fluffy Pancakes
Spanish Rice


Final Thoughts

I ordered our curriculum for first grade this week. It arrived yesterday. The kids thought it was Christmas when we were opening the boxes. I had no idea how much fun and how rewarding teaching my children at home would be.

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