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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

More Creating

These days Madison either has a pencil in her hand drawing or a needle sewing. She was so excited to come across a kit that my good friend, Chelita, bought her for her birthday. It contains everything she needs to sew a little doll and make a dress for her. She cut out all of the pieces shortly after her birthday, but then forgot about it. I'm so excited to see how it turns out. Madison also found the rugs that we started making in Social Studies last year and finished weaving hers. All I have to do is remember how to cut it off of the loom the right way. I'll have to pull out my books from last year! I will post a picture of the rug and the doll when she is finished with them.

Speaking of creating, here is the cup that I painted in August. I posted a picture of it before it was fired, but this is the finished product. I still haven't built up enough nerve to actually drink out of it!
I bought a lot of fun things to do and make for Halloween Day. We are looking forward to it!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cell Division

We have been studying cell division and mitosis in Science. It surprised me how interested Carter was in all of it. He actually got down on the floor by the book and was trying to explain it back to me. Yesterday, I took out all of our yarn to make models of each step of cell division. They all enjoyed it, but Carter LOVED it. After taking pictures of all of the models, Madison suggested putting them into a stop motion video, so we could watch the process in motion. It turned out great! One of the things that I love the most about homeschooling is being able to do so much hands on learning. The kids understood the cell division process so much more after our activity...and they enjoyed learning it!


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Library Book Sale

We finally made it to one of our library's book sales. Every month when I read about and see pictures of all of the great books that other people have gotten at these sales, I tell myself that I will not miss the next one. Well, this time, I kept my word. I was very happy with what we ended up with. We got nearly 30 books for $4.30.
I was most excited about the four biography books that I got for .10 each! I wanted these for the kids to be able to choose different people to write reports on. We are so dependent upon the computer for information that I wanted to provide other sources for the kids to go to when writing reports. I also found a great Webster's Dictionary as well as a grammar dictionary. Of course, I was excited when I found the science project book!

I got these for the fun of it, but while looking through them I realized that they are full of history. I got them for .10 each too :)!
We will have to buy more bookshelves for all of the books that we're sure to get at these book sales. I'm afraid we are hooked!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Weekend At Our Second Home

As always, I love to watch Carter and Landon play together when we get together with Vicki and her family. There are four years between them, but Landon adores Carter and would follow him to the ends of the earth! Of course, Carter isn't complaining...he loves it!

They both love animals and love to be outside. They are both given a fresh supply of energy every morning that never seems to run out before the end of the day.

I honestly can't tell you what Madison and Kinley did all weekend because we just don't see them much. From the time we arrive, they are in their own little pretend world. I love watching them together because they remind me so much of Vicki and me when we were growing up!

Vicki gave Carter a homemade bow and arrow set. He has enjoyed it so much since we got home. We're thinking of getting him one that he can shoot targets with for Christmas.

I've missed spending time with Vicki and her family. We were together so much this summer, but just haven't been able to find the time since school started back. It means so much to our kids to be with their cousins, especially Madison and Kinley. Kinley is the closest thing that Madison has to a sister, and I cherish their relationship. I'm glad that our children will have so many memories of growing up together!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Man's Job

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wide Open Spaces

This is why our kids enjoy spending the day at my Dad's...my childhood home...so much. I tell them all the time how wonderful it was to grow up in the country...away from concrete, interstates, and close neighbors. As children, the land was our playground...we had horses to run wide open and three wheelers to ride until they ran out of gas...never repeating in the same day a path already taken. There were always new things to discover and new places to claim as our own. Mama and Daddy never had to worry about us wandering too far from home because for as far as we could see, we were home. We rode our bikes to get to new places, not just for the sake of riding up and down the road. The world was our playground because our home and the land around it was our world.
We don't get to spend as much time at my childhood home with our children as I would like to. My Dad and stepmother are away a lot on the pipeline, so we have to squeeze in as many visits as we can while they are home. The older and more independent our kids get, the more they look forward to these visits. While I enjoy the conveniences of where we now live, I often wish that we were raising our children in the environment that I grew up in. I'm thankful that they will at least have memories like today to claim as part of their childhood.

I felt like one of the Waltons today as we all piled up in the back of my Dad's truck for a ride around his new land. This is a beautiful piece of land that I can already picture full of cows that I know will one day roam it. The hay bales were scattered around the well tended land, framed like a favorite painting by the trees that surrounded it. It felt like such a safe place, calling us to come back with our tent and stay for a night or two. My dad and stepmother were patient with all of us "kids" as we insisted on climbing on the hay bales and acting as if, for just a while, we were all one age...still the kids that hide inside of us all waiting for those snatches of time when they can all come out and play again.

And play we did!!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

This Week at OurPlace

Besides our regular school stuff, we've had a lot of other things going on this week. I had to fit the week into four days to allow time for picture day on Friday. Our homeschool association has a yearbook, so we had to get pictures made for that. I'm not one of those parents who take her children for professional photos very often. I took each one of mine when they were around 6 months old, and Madison had a photo session(given by her grandfather) when she was a year old. Other than that, I always taken them myself. I do however, have 8 x 10's of all of the kids' school pictures and plan on making an 8 x 10 album for each of them one day. It is this album that drives me to make it to these photo sessions each year. I am always so relieved when they are over. I have always preferred pictures in more natural settings.

We bought pumpkins to carve at the fall party we went to last week, but the kids were having so much fun playing that they never got around to carving them. Madison and Carter finally took theirs to the deck yesterday and got them done! I usually sit with them the entire time they do this, making sure to do most of the knife work; however, the pumpkin carving kit came with safe tools that allowed them to do them alone. The only thing that I did was cut the tops out of the pumpkins. Then, I just sat back and watched them work. I really was amazed with what they were able to do alone. Carter did the classic pumpkin face, but Madison used a pattern to cut a ghost design. I can't wait to do one on Halloween Day!

Before carving the pumpkins, we had a little photo session with Grant and Anna, Madison's "babies". Madison is so much like Vicki and I were at her age. We were in no hurry to put down our dolls and run to the boys. I know that she will put them down one day...probably very soon...but until then, I will cherish them as part of our family!!

We were still studying cells in Science this week. We did an experiment with potatoes to demonstrate turger pressure.

Madison and I got the sewing machine out on Thursday for a little sewing lesson. Madison was a little afraid of the serger because of the knife, however, loved stuffing the pillows with batting. Jeff brought home some material that one of his patients gave him. He asked me to make pillows for the kids to take on our camping trips. While I was doing that, Madison made a little pillow for her Build a Bear. She loves to create...just put the materials in front of her and she runs with it! I love watching her!

We try to "journal" at least once a week. Because I am so strict with the kids on their grammar when writing paragraphs and papers, I try not to check it in their journals. This isn't to say that I never do, but I try to give them an outlet for creative writing without feeling held back by grammar details. Of course, Madison's favorite part of journal time is drawing the pictures that go along with the journal entry. I usually have to stop her and let her finish it on her own time.
Today, we are headed to my Dad's! He has been in Illinois on a pipelining job, along with my stepmother, nephew, and brother in law. We look forward to seeing them all and spending the weekend at my sister's.