Friday, December 18, 2009
fire blazing...warming our home...homemade bread and rolls rising on the mantel
an array of colors...green...orange...yellow...brown...bubbling in the pot...stew for supper
chubby baby legs...wobbly...learning to stand
little ones listening...enraptured...as I read The Nutcracker
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
The ingredients were being dumped in the bowl correctly, the egg shells were staying out of the batter and all were taking turns when Lou Lou falls off of the chair flat onto her back. My nursling was strapped on tight and I couldn't check on Lou Lou as quickly as I would have liked. I headed to the couch to unwrap the baby (who immediately started crying) I go back to the kitchen to check on Lou Lou and give her a kiss. We finished the rest of the cookies with a crying baby in the walker beside the table.
As the cookies are baking the boys head outside to help daddy build a birdhouse for a Christmas gift. I sign the cards and bag the cookies to deliver to the neighbors.
When everyone is awake from nap we deliver the cookies to the neighbors. We had several nice visits and the day ended pleasantly.
So there you have it...sometimes everything does not always run smoothly in our household;)
Thursday, December 10, 2009
My nursling peacefully sleeping by my side in the dark.
brothers...romping...building...just being buddies
Counting down the days till Christmas by the light of the tree
Snuggling together in mommy and daddy's bed...reading
hearing the squeals of delight from little ones as daddy walks in the door from work
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Here are the boys at the quilting work station.
Here are the boys at the cival war confederate camp.
Our little soldiers learning how to march. Here are the kids in a race to dress one another up as scarecrows.
I used to get overwhelmed when thinking of making my own tinctures, but a friend gave me a step by step and I realized its really very easy.
What are tinctures?
Tinctures are preparations made by allowing herbs to soak in alcohol, vegetable glycerin or cider vinegar. This soaking extracts the medicinal properties from the herbs. After straining the resulting liquid has stronger medicinal properties than an herbal tea.
pint or quart size jars
vegetable glycerin or vodka(at least 90 proof)
warm water if using vegetable glycerin
Today I am making several tinctures using vegetable glycerin. Pictured below are the supplies and process for making a restful sleep/calming glycerin tincture. The herbs I have chosen are chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, catnip, and peppermint. I layered the herbs in a quart size canning jar. Next, I poured very warm water (about 1and 1/2 cups)over the herbs. Using a spoon mash herbs for a couple of minutes. Drain off any excess water. Next, fill the jar with vegetable glycerin. Put lid on and shake the mixture until the glycerin seems thoroughly mixed. Then place a towel in the bottom of a crock pot or large pan on stove. Cook tinctures on very low heat for 2-3 days. When mixture is finished cooking strain and place in blue or amber colored bottles. Store in a cool dark place.
picture of supplies
mashing the herbs with the warm water
cooking the mixture on low
*Remember to strain excess water off of the herbs. The mixture must be at least 60% vegetable glycerin or it will mold.
*If using alcohol, simply place herbs in jar, pour in alcohol and let it sit for 2-3 weeks. Shake daily
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Inside I wince. Please don't follow me. I haven't been the best person to be following . Selfish impatience seems to get the better of me. Reacting too hastily to little ones mistakes seems to explain my parenting techniques as of late. As I think back over the situations I've been called to handle lately, it seems I've made a mess of each one.
I can't proclaim with the confidence of Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:1, "Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ." I need to practice more living in the spirit. I long for spirit living that makes a difference in my moments. Choosing to live each moment so that Christ is clearly seen in my life.
So that when one of the littles proclaim, "I'm following you." I can say, "Carry on sweet one, because I am following another far greater than I."
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
We learned the -ed, -eed, -en, -eat, and -ound word families. The initial lessons took a couple of days. We spent about three more days in review. We made our own books using the new words, we made lots of new sentences with the word cards and we did word work on the wipe board. (I would write the word and Bo would change the first letter to make the new word I read.)
We have since learned the words from the second and third pages of the story and he is getting much better at blending the word families.
At first he was guessing when he came to a word he did not know. I asked him to look for anything familiar in the word. He would find the part he new and add the new sounds. After instructing him a couple of time he doesn't seem to guess as much.
I am proud of his progress and he is so excited to be on the road to reading.
Each time they help, I try to praise them for a job well done. If a job is not completed joyfully and correctly, they have to start all over again. I had to only make them start over about two times and since then they work quickly and joyfully.
What can a four and five year old do to help a home run more smoothly?
*The boys are required to do their eye game several times everyday. I may declare eye game time at any moment. They have to go from room to room and look for things to put away.
*The boys can make their beds. I don't require this yet, because they still nap.
*My five year old cleans their bathroom counter and commode.
*My four year old vacuums the floor.
*Both boys can fold and put away the towels.
*The boys gather the eggs, and feed the dogs and cats.
*Sometimes the boys help with the dishes.
*Take the garbage out and gather the cans after garbage day.
I worked with them a couple of times while they folded clothes, cleaned the bathroom and vacuumed. They are fairly independent when doing the tasks now. There are times I have to gently remind them to finish part of their tasks, but they seem to enjoy being helpers.
What can a two year old do to help?
*Our little one loves to feed the cat and dogs. (If I can keep her from eating the food herself)
*She loves to help me sweep and wash dishes.
*She can pick her toys up.
*She likes putting the clothes in the dryer.
*She can also put her clothes away after I have folded them.
When everyone works together our days run much more smoothly.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Bo's background was fairly strong in letter and sound recognition. He had picked this information up effortlessly during reading and asking me what certain letters were. We did make an alphabet book earlier this year when he was really asking to do some school work. This was my effort at holding him off a little longer on any formal instruction.
So, after feeling he had pre-reading skills in place we jumped into reading as outlined in Home Education on pages 217-222. This was a new concept for me because of my background in education. I was used to teaching one or two sight words per week along with one word family.
Teaching the way CM recommends in Home Education gives the child a much larger reading vocabulary after the first week of instruction.
In a nutshell, I taught reading by sight the first day, using the first page of The Little Red Hen. The next day we worked with word families with some of the words we had learned.
Here is our first reading lesson in pictures:
After spelling the word with the letter tiles, Bo looked through the word cards and found the word.
The last step was to look through the page of words and locate the word in the story.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
waking each morning to find my sweet baby snuggled close to my side
my two little men...eager to help..."what else can I do for you mommy?"
time alone with my boys...showing them my special place at the spring...exploring God's beautiful world together
beginning our journey into home education
hugging my love...as he sings in my ear...children giggling all around our feet
little ones begging for a sandwich hug..."It's my turn now!"
little face...turned upward...drinking in the sunset..."It's bootiful ain't it"?
Friday, August 21, 2009
Praise the Lord time
The beginning: a perfect home from The Jesus Storybook Bible
Artist/Art print of the week
ASL/Spanish practice-review previously learned signs, count to ten in Spanish
Household Rule for the Week
Praise the Lord time
Psalm of the Day (We are going through Psalms from beginning to end)
Poem of the week from Kindergarten Gems
Praise the Lord time
Genesis 1-2 (corresponds with Jesus Storybook reading)
Review art of the week
Review rule of the week
Praise the Lord time
Proverbs of the Day reading
Rule for the week practice
Praise the Lord time
Reading from Missionary Heroism
Modern day Missionary
Poem of the Week review
I am working on ideas to implement calendar, weather graphing and new of the day.
I leave Saturday and Sunday unplanned so we can catch up on any circle time we might have missed or had to cut short.
Each week our circle time begins with a new chapter of the Jesus Storybook Bible. I highly recommend this resource for teaching your children that Christ is the central figure in God's word.
We also have Psalm of the day, Proverb of the day and the corresponding scripture from the Jesus Storybook.
Most days, we open our circle time with praise and worship. I have also added artist study, poetry and ASL and Spanish practice to our time together.
We always close with prayer requests and a prayer.
Fridays are special circle time days when we try to focus on missions.
We are reading from The Adventures of Missionary Heroism. We also read about modern day missionaries from Samaritan's Purse prayer guide.
Some things I want to implement:
calendar, weather graphing, news of the day
want more circle time ideas...visit here
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
He was very excited. He dressed himself right away and helped with morning chores so we could get started. I took his picture and our first two activities lasted about 15 minutes. We came back later and finished up with about 15 more minutes total. That's part of the beauty of homeschool when he finishes his work he is free to play and explore.
Our activities Monday:
Good Shepherd Math
Phonics letter recognition/sound assessment
Handwriting readiness worksheet
During circle time we cover bible reading, praise, rules of our home, art or poetry, and missions
I'll post more about our resources and schedule later.
Monday, June 29, 2009
The world is full of sensual images that seek to rob us of our sensitivity to the sins of sensuality, immodesty and sexual immorality. I cannot take my children to the local grocery stores and stand in the check out lines without being extremely concerned about the images that are glaring back from the covers of the magazines. My sons could possibly begin to wrestle with the the sin of lust at a very early age. My daughters could very easily see themselves as less than perfect the way God fashioned them.
There are some places that should be a place of safety. One such place that I can think of is the church. Coming together with other believers should be a time of fellowship and worship not a time to teach my sons how to bounce their eyes from sensual images and my daughters a lesson in immodesty.
Our homes should be places of safety as well. That is one reason we have made the decision to not allow television in our home. The images from prime time programs, commercials and movies do little to protect the purity of ourselves and our children. What images are we allowing into our safe havens from the world?
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Ephesians 5:3
I will walk in my house with a blameless heart. I will set before my eyes no vile thing. Psalms 101:2b-3
You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain. Song of Songs 4:12
Monday, June 22, 2009
Daybook Entry June 22, 2009
Outside my window...garden growing...first tomatoes ripening...hot sun shining
I am thinking...about a new business opportunity
I am thankful for...ice cold water on hot days
From the learning rooms...preparing for a few more formal lessons with Bo this fall
From the kitchen...leftovers thrown into a pot..leftover stew...my love's favorite
I am wearing...brown skirt...green top...hair in a ponytail of course
I am creating...a ring of scripture cards to help with my praying from head to toe
I am going...to hang a load of laundry out to dry in the hot sun
I am reading...What He Must Be... if he wants to marry my daughter
I am hoping...to have some quiet time with one of the littles today(the one who wakes first from nap)
I am hearing...a leaky faucet drip
Around the house...garden growing...chickens running...children laughing
One of my favorite things...an afternoon nap
A few plans for the rest of the week:
hoe the weeds from the garden
business opportunity meeting
6 weeks checkup for me (she's 6 weeks already)
turning 30 on Thursday
dinner with family Saturday
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
Saturday, June 20, 2009
LouLou rocks her baby doll...singing softly...smiling at me
Boo runs in to tell me a story...as he uses his big boy voice...grabs my hand to show me something outside
Bo listens intently to a story...eyes wide open...searching my face for hints of what will happen next
my love and I find time for a quick embrace in the middle of out busy days
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
After reading the above post, I decided to try praying for my children from head to toe. I began with my newest nursling and prayed for her mind all the way down to her toes during one of her nursing sessions. It was very powerful and I felt a mental prayer block that I had seemed to develop fade away with my tears as I touched each tiny body part and prayed scripture over her.
I then tried praying over Bo from head to toe when awoke from nap earlier than everyone else one day. Rocking my big boy in the rocking chair I prayed scripture over his life using his body parts from head to toe as reminders. When I finished he asked me to pray something over his stomach (ha! ha!) and he also wanted to know when it was Boo's turn.
I have since prayed over all of my children several time and find the visual reminders of their little heads, eyes, ears, mouths, faces, hands and feet very helpful in remembering specific scriptures I want to pray over them.
big sister...amazed face each morning...as she discovers she has a little sister all over again
baby sister...sweet snuggles...beginning to grin...smell of newness...a new life embarking on discovering the beauty of our world for the first time
holding my little ones close...praying from head to toe...the stillness of the night...causes me to think and reflect
my love...home from work...laying my head on his shoulder...smelling his smell...feeling his strong arms embrace me
a garden growing...hoping for a big harvest...working the land together
Saturday, June 6, 2009
my little boy...growing up...losing his first two teeth
sun's rays peeking through the shadows...a little girl enjoying God's creation
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
"In this time of extraordinary pressure, educational and social, perhaps a mother's first duty to her children is to secure for them a quiet growing time, a full six years of passive receptive life, the waking part of it spent for the most part out in the fresh air." Home Education, pg 43
If there was extraordinary pressure on children in 1886, one can imagine the pressures on children in 2009. This pressure is something that we have tried to avoid with our children. I believe there is a time for children to begin an education and be required to work diligently. The first six years are not that time. We have made an effort to give our children plenty of growing room and we have made the great outdoors their main classroom. I am amazed at the curiosity of my children when they are exploring in the God's beautiful creation. We have let our children's natural curiosity lead the way on drawing, writing, and learning letters. I am amazed at the many things Bo has learned from his own interest. He knows so much already that I taught to students in my kindergarten class.
I want to encourage parents who may be feeling pressured to put their children in preschool to re-think that decision. Our society puts a huge emphasis on learning to read, writing letters, counting and recognizing numbers at earlier and earlier ages. Parents often brag of what their three or four year olds know, or who was the first to learn to write their name. Little value is placed on having a sense of awe and wonder at God's creation. But if God's word says:
then we should very seriously consider exposing our children to as much of God's created glory as we can. The more a child is involved in (preschool, sports, gymnastics, church activities, etc.) the less time we have as a family to get outdoors and bask in God's glory.
So before a preschooler learns the alphabet, have they watched a caterpillar change into a butterfly?
Before a preschooler learns to write his/her name have they turned over a rock and watched the bugs scatter?
Before a preschooler learns the letter sounds have they planted a seed and tended a small garden plot or container garden to understand that food is grown and tended and does not magically appear on grocery store shelves?
Food for thought...
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
boys eyes bright...giggles...gasps of amazement as little sister kicks them during storytime as they lean against my belly
attentive ears...wide eyes...as we finish a chapter book we have been reading
little girl...learning to praise...howy howy howy...ward God awmighty
brothers...outside in the early morning after a rain...using binoculars to watch the birds...
early morning snuggles...bed full of little ones
Monday, March 16, 2009
three little hands with splinters...
a gallon of water spilled on the floor...
atmosphere ripe for tension...patience could be lost at any moment... but for this moment we choose to let His Spirit live through us...we choose calmness instead of lost self-control...we choose gentle words instead if impatient ones.
Oh, how I always want to make this decision. When the times are trying...living beyond any response that is gnawing to come out of my mouth...those emotions welling up within...letting Christ respond through me. It feels so much better in the end. Hearts are left whole...relationships are spared...tears are left for another day
Holli...who is going to begin a study of the fruits of the spirit...daily learning how to let him live through me
Monday, January 12, 2009
I have read the first six chapters of Raising Godly Tomatoes. I have been making lots of notes in the book and summarizing the chapters as I read them. The most important thing I have read is to expect pleasant, prompt obedience each time I ask the little ones to do or not do something. I was always consistent with making them obey, but I never really new how to handle a bad attitude when it showcased itself. I am making them re-do the task if a bad attitude is displayed and requiring them to say, "yes mommy" when I give them instructions.
Lou Lou seems to be the most difficult at this point. She does really well obeying most requests but occasionally her obedience is not very prompt. Also I feel like I am having to start all over again each morning. I know she is little and she is wondering do I mean no all the time or just this time. She often cries when I ask her to hold my hand when we are walking or sit still on my lap for bible time. She will hold my hand and sit still with a couple of reminders but the crying about is driving me crazy and I am not sure what to do yet. I am reminding her to be quiet and she eventually stops but it takes awhile.
I was having a lot of trouble with Boo wanting to retreat to his room and pout when something did not go his way. He was generally whiny and had an unpleasant face when he was asked to do something. I have not been letting him go to his room at all when he is upset, but he has to stay close to me. He is learning to wipe the unhappy look off of his face and do things with a "yes. mommy" and smile. I can definately see improvements to his general attitude.
I have read the first two chapters of Honey for a Child's Heart. This book has really been enjoyable and has reminded me of the importance of feeding the imaginations of my children with wonderful stories and books, not television and video games.
I have finished the first few sections of Drawing with Children. I see much potential in this book to teach me how to draw and in turn I can begin teaching Bo really soon. He asked me the other day when we were going to start homeschooling and I said after I finished this book I was going to teach him how to draw. I have my art supply list made and am ready to but them so I can go ahead with the lessons.
I am reading along with the Ambleside Year 0 yahoo group and I have finished the preface to volume one of the Original Homeschooling Series.
I did not read any of Pocketful of Pinecones. I may have to save this one for later. Since we love nature and do a good job of enjoying God's creation, this one can wait until I finish one of the others.
Lots to learn...
Monday, January 5, 2009
Raising Godly Tomatoes by L. Elizabeth Kruegar
This book is a must read for all moms, especially moms of little ones. I haven't read the book yet, but the website had been full of useful information. This book has the potential to be the best child training book I have ever read. I am very anxious to get started reading this. The website has affirmed a lot of things I have been trying to accomplish with my little ones (first time obedience, coming when called, obeying joyfully, etc.). Training them when they are young will make homeschooling run much more smoothly.
Home Education volume 1 of Charlotte Mason's Original Homeschooling Series
I have read this before, but it is good to keep fresh on my mind. The Yahoo Ambleside Yr 0 group is reading and discussing this book beginning this week. Here is it online!
Drawing With Children by Mona Brooks
I want to read this and brush up on my almost non-existent drawing skills. I plan on learning how to draw right along with the little ones.
Pocketful of Pinecones by Karen Andreola
This is a great fiction book about a homeschooling mother who does nature study with her children. We love God's beautiful creation and I wanted some fresh inspiration for nature study!
Honey for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt
This is a book about importance of reading books to your children. Another one I've been hoping to read for awhile.
I'll be taking lots of notes and maybe a few blog posts about what I am learning.
Friday, January 2, 2009
The same crafty, cunning serpent that approached Eve with the words "Did God really say?", uses the same approach with us today. For if he can get me to doubt that God really meant what he said, then my behavior will start deviating from the standard of holiness outlined in God's Word.
How many times throughout the day am I faced with situations when these same words enter into my mind?
Did God really say, "Be holy as I am holy."? (1Peter 1:15-16)
Did God really say, "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires."? (James 1:19)
Did God really say, "These commandments I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."? (Deut 6: 6-7)
Did God really say, "Therefore as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."? (Col. 3:12-13)
Did God really say, "Wives submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord." (Col. 3:18)
Did God really say, "Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances..."? (1 Thess 5:16-17)
Did God really say, " Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their own husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God."?(Titus 2:4-5)
To live the life of obedience to Christ I must be sure to know what God says in His Word. Because when I know God has called me to live in a certain way I can then begin to ask for his strength to live in obedience to His Word.