Monday, August 14, 2006

Traveling, Traveling, Traveling

I am getting ready for a three week road trip. We actually have a somewhat complex itinerary. In the process of this trip we will visit almost every out-of-town friend and most of our family memebers by visiting four different locations. We have so many fun things planned and we are all very excited. The girls are going with me on the first leg of the journey, swapping out for the boys on the second part, and reuniting all together for the last part. Here's a list of our plans!
Picking up our daughter whose been staying with friends for over a month and having a girls night at a hotel enjoying the pool and jacuzzi, followed by a day shopping
Visiting our very dear friends in Missouri
Going to a wedding of the oldest daughter of some old friends
Staying overnight with another dear friend and visiting her church
A fun night at a meeting point with Mr. Potts while we swap children
Some of the girls coming home for a few days to dance in a Jana Long (of Avalon) concert
Spending a few days with some friends in Alabama
Meeting up with the rest of our family at my brother-in-law's house and seeing Grandmom too
A week at a resort at the beach
We will probably have lots of pictures to follow!

Our Girls Only Weekend

Things I enjoyed about our weekend:
Staying up late, watching chick flicks and having deep discussions about life
Sleeping in
Cleaning house together
Visiting a new church
Wearing clothes that my daughters think are cool
Eating ice cream on the way home with the windows down and Kutless' Strong Tower CD blaring on the stereo

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Trading Places

It's funny how some things in life reverse. I spent years shopping and choosing what my girls would wear. Now not only do I not choose their clothes, but they choose mine!
Mr.Potts took the boys camping this weekend, so I figured it was a good time to do the dreaded chore of shopping for some clothes for myself. I hate shopping. I always wish a box of just-what-I-need would show up at my door and it would involve no decisions on my part. I usually wander aimlessly through racks and racks of clothes and unless something jumps out and bites me on the nose (which is almost only the purple things), I pass through moaning about how I hate to shop. I asked the girls for some help and boy, did I get it.
AdventureQueen, true to her name and nature, only too willingly took charge over all of my purchases. I found myself asking her for permission to buy something. The answer was, "No Mom. That is hideous!"
Or I would say, "What about this?"
She would reply, "Don't you ever be caught dead in that!"
Then on the way home Tom pipes up, "Now that we have your clothes in order, we should think about your skin. You have nice skin and you should keep it that way. Are you washing and moisturizing your face every night?"
I'm thinking the next thing I know they will be making sure I've brushed my teeth!
Somehow I made it home with quite a few items that we both approved of. At least when I'm old and getting bossed around by my children all of the time, I will be well taken care of!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Coffee Shop Writing

After exploring the Bravewriter site I was inspired to try some new things with writing. My favorite thing so far is taking Tom and BlochHead to the coffee shop for their writing class. We are aiming to make this a once a week happening. I keep our notebooks, a binder of writing ideas, a pouch of different kinds of pens and some grammar/writing books all packed and ready to go in my Barnes & Noble book bag. We grab our bag and head out to the local coffee shop. This week we had lunch there, but most of the time we plan on just getting a drink. We sit at a cozy table and write. I flipped through Woe Is I - and chose a topic to discuss, which was when to use which or that. It was so relaxing and fun! The girls began to open up about their ideas about writing and what kinds of projects they would like to tackle and what they would like to learn. This definitely did not feel like SCHOOL!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The New School Year

We are in our second week of Back-to-School, so to speak. We always have a light schedule for summer, taking off for whatever strikes our fancy. Now that it is miserably hot, we are hitting the books and anxiously awaiting cooler temperatures for our out-of-doors activities. And trying to make a little progress before we gallivant across the country for a trip to visit some friends and then a vacation at the beach. It has been lots of fun diving into new books and materials. Our schedule has been working wonderfully, which is quite a reward after I brainstormed how to fit it all in for weeks on end.
Whew! Only four kids this year, well 4 1/2 if you count Kindergarden with TheLittlestPrincess. Here's what we have planned for this year:
Tom (16 - 11th grade)
Abeka's Consumer Math
Bird Biology (book from Cornell University)
20th Century History - with lots of books, authors such as Albert Marrin, Clarence Carson, and others.
20th Century Literature - with selected books plus daily poetry
Philosophy/Worldview - Sophie's World then Amusing Ourselves to Death
Law - Whatever Happened to Justice
Citizenship - Ourselves by Charlotte Mason
Grammar - Our Mother Tongue by Nancy Wilson & Elements of Style
Writing and Dictation & Poetry with back issues from The Slingshot and Freewrites from
Health - Usborne's Food, Fitness & Health
Also she is working part time for her father doing office work (parital credit in Business Math)
BlochHead (13/14 in Sept.- 8th grade)
Teaching Textbooks Algebra I
Apologia's Biology
History - Ancient Rome using Truthquest Guide with family AND
American Revolution study with Michael Medved's tapes and the book Founding Brothers
Literature and Writing course with - The Boomerang and discussion group plus daily poetry
Theology - The Screwtape Letters
Citizenship - Ourselves by Charlotte Mason
Economics - Whatever Happened to Penny Candy and Bluestocking Guide
Logic - The Fallacy Detective
Grammar - Our Mother Tongue and Elements of Style
Art - she is constantly drawing and painting!
Other Family Activities - Picture Study, Composers, Nature Study, Scrapbooking, Shakespeare with Tea Time, Crafts
SmokeyBear and Tigger (12yo/6th grade, 10yo/4th grade)
Math U See plus : SB- Pet Store Math, T - Miquon and both play math games and living math books
Apologia's Flying Creatures and Botany courses
Ancient Rome with Truthquest Guide with family
Early Modern Times with focus on American Revolution - Story of the World 3, The Story of the 13 Colonies
Geography books: other cultures through various books (current read aloud Gift From the Mikado-Japan)
Reading various fun chapter books to improve reading skills
Geography Drill with World Discovery Deluxe
Copywork and Dictation using Spelling Wisdom (from and also
George Washington's Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior
Read Alouds from Ambleside's Year 4 list
Other Family Activites as listed above
TheLittlestPrincess (K, 5 - almost 6)
All of her lessons are low-key, very short and mostly only when she asks. The best thing I have done for her this year is make a basket of things she can only do during "school time". This includes books on tape, playdoh, paper dolls, coloring books, paints, certain puzzles and a bead kit. This is great because she doesn't get so tired of these things when her time to play with them is limited. She often listens in when I am reading to the boys and participates in the other family studies.
Math with RightStart Math, games and Miquon later in the year
Reading practice
Writing - copying letters and simple words
Poetry memorization
Scripture memorization with Sing the Word from A -Z
Bedtime read alouds - mostly from Sonlight's Year K plus some others
All in all, I'm very pleased with our selections. Many of them are tried and true favorites so we don't have the apprehension of wondering if the books are lousy. It's great to have a job that makes you love to wake up every morning!!! Every day is a blessing filled with fun hours of learning, leisure and work!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Beautiful Rose

(Editor's Note: I mistakenly did not add the last stanza when I posted this for BlochHead earlier. It is complete now. - MamaLion)
I will tell you the tale of a beautiful rose;
Who every day her beauty grows.
And though she was the loveliest around,
She grew discontent because she found
That one of the flowers near her had grown,
Was plucked from where it had been sown
And taken to a different place
There set on a table, in a small glass vase.
Admired by the many passers by,
‘This would make me happy’, she sigh.
So more and more, she saddened each day,
Wishing to somehow be noticed that way.
And every time a person walked past
She’d put on a show, and the time came at last
When one who’d seen her flaunting about
Saw her beauty so plucked her out
Of the only ground that held her there.
Now her roots were destroyed; she felt naked and bare.
Is this what she’d wanted all along?
Would this give her pleasure or could she be wrong?
But finally what she longed for came;
They admired her beauty and now she had fame.
Though the only thing that kept her alive
Was the small glass vase and the water inside.
Slowly as the days went by,
Softly now the rose would cry.
Now to herself the rose would say,
"I wish I could only go back to that day.
Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting.
Now let me lie down ‘cause this rest I am needing."
The rose bent over with sorrow and grief,
Mourned for bright sunshine and the ground at her feet,
If only she'd been content and glad
She never would have done the things she had.
Now, said the rose, who was hardly alive,
To each seed dropping, one at a time
"You may one day grow to be a rose,
So learn now to be happy wherever life goes."

(***This poem was written this week by BlochHead-- Mamalion)