Saturday, January 30, 2010

Locks of Love

Lexi has been asking to get her haircut for months and yesterday we finally decided to let her do it - though not too short. Lexi's passion is dance and I needed enough hair to put it up in a bun twice a week for class.

I have to admit I was a little sad. I just love my girls long hair but, Lexi decided to do Locks of Love and I could not say no to that. Lexi and Ava Mae are both now sporting haircuts to their shoulders and have two ponytails to donate.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Field Trip: Speaker on Marine Life and Scuba Diving

This week we were able to attend a presentation by a former teacher whose passion was scuba diving and recording all the marine life her and her husband encountered on their trips all over the world.

The kids loved it! Devin had a question every 5 minutes to ask. Our speaker's photographs and videos were amazing especially the video from the shark dive. She even showed us one of her husband's photographs that was featured in National Geographic.

We are preparing to take a field trip to the Tennessee Aquarium and this presentation went along perfectly with that. After the talk all the kids were able to touch and play with the scuba diving equipment.

Monday, January 25, 2010

100th Day of School

So hard to believe but, today is our 100th Day of School!! I always love hitting 100 days, it means we are past the halfway point with schooling for the year (only 80 days to go). We celebrated this morning with Krispy Kreme Donuts and tonight with Winter Cupcakes that Ava Mae made with our babysitter.

And, this is what the 2nd half of our school year will look like. Though we have loved Winter Promise, it can be a little bit much. I have decided to go back to the basics with History so we will continue to use the book "The American Story" for the rest of the year along with some of the read alouds but, we will cut out alot of the "extra" work that went along with each week.

Here is what the kids are doing curriculum wise now:

Devin/3rd Grade:
Handwriting With A Purpose Book T
Explode the Code Book 5
Wordly Wise Book 3
Horizons Math 3 along with a Statistical Math Program (Devin is our gifted math student and we had to find something extra to challenge him)

Lexi/2nd Grade:
Handwriting With A Purpose Book T
Beyond the Code Book 3
Horizons Math 2

Ava Mae/PreSchool - Kindergarten
Handwriting With A Purpose Book K
Get Ready for the Code Book A
Horizons Math K

We are also all continuing to work through:

Language Lessons For The Very Young Book 2
Bible Daily Devotional - "God and Me"
Drawing With Children

Timothy School on Friday:
Earth Science
Little Entertainers
Lego Simple Machines

Ava Mae:
PreSchool Class (3 hours)

Extra Curricular:


Ballet/Tap (3 hours week)

Ava Mae:
Choir/Mission Friends

Our only other change is that I have a babysitter coming for 3 hours in the afternoon, one day a week. I am so glad to be done with Cardiac Rehab and back to a more normal schedule!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Field Trip: Governor's Mansion

Yesterday we took a historical field trip to the Governor's Mansion. We laughed at the fact that the Governor's Mansion seems to pale in comparison to some of the mansions surrounding it in Buckhead. We learned about the history of this historical home and the furnishings, paintings and artwork that grace its halls.

We even were able to have a quick impromptu conversation with the Governor's Chef, who has been the executive chef for all the governors over the last 23 years. My children's takeaway memory was the cool button built into the floor in the dining room that rings when pushed by the Governor summoning the cook or wait staff to return to the dining room.

Lunch afterward was at one of our favorite restaurants with our nearest and dearest homeschool friends!! Perfect end to a great field trip.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Locked Out

I snapped this picture above with my iPhone yesterday toward the end of a 2 hour outdoor playdate with our friends. It was such a beautiful warm day the thermometer read 60 degrees and after weeks of frigid cold here in the ATL where temps did not reach over 40 it was magnificent.

Now, what this picture does not show is the fact that we actually spent 2 hours outside because, we were locked out of our friend's home. I was babysitting for a friend while she had an appointment and I figured it was such a beautiful day that we would all go for a walk prior to me putting the baby down for nap. Unfortunately, the front door was locked by mistake and so with no way into the house after our walk we spent a few hours just soaking in the sun - finding "joy in the everyday".

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Conversations Around The School Table

Love the conversations around our school table ... this is a sampling from today. Priceless ...

Lexi had decided to start making her own Barbie doll clothes so we pulled out her sewing kit and she made a pattern and went for it. It really did turn out well - can't believe it was her first attempt. Here is the conversation that ensued ...

Devin ... "Lexi that looks great! I think you will be a famous fashion designer one day."
Lexi ... "Devin I don't want to be famous. I just want to be a normal person."

Ava Mae ... "I want to be a famous hair designer."

Devin ... "Well, I am going to be a famous baseball player here in Atlanta."

Ava Mae ... "Devin, when you are famous I won't play on the playground anymore during your baseball games. I will sit in the stands and watch you."

Devin ... "Thanks, Ava Mae."

Monday, January 11, 2010

Fun with the Cat

Our cat Smokin is so sweet and quite tolerant of the games the girls play with him. Last night, he took the place of Ava Mae's American Girl Bitty Baby, in the Bitty Baby Crib. Today, he has been spotted in a pink skirt and yellow sweater. I am sure the cat is looking forward to the weather warming up and the girls playing outside more.

Friday, January 8, 2010

First Snow Day 2010

Some years we are lucky and get several snow days ... other years we get none. We have learned to enjoy them when they come along, it is such a treat! Of course, as homeschoolers, "snow days" do not have the same meaning as those who attend school but, today we decided to just enjoy the day.

Pictured below ... the kids in a perfect white front yard - even the driveway and road that runs in front of our home were completely white.

Snow Days require a special breakfast of pancakes and hot chocolate - served up in snowman mugs.
Snow Days also require a special end to the evening - smores. And, if that special treat requires you to leave and go out on the icy roads to pick up supplies, almost taking out your neighbor's mailbox as you slide down the hill in front of your home - well that just makes the day even more adventurous. :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Time to Regroup and Refocus

Last night was our homeschool group meeting. It is always so refreshing after the holidays to go and listen to a fabulous speaker and last night was no exception. Our speaker talked about "expectations" and "pride" and how it effects us as homeschoolers and what the scripture says. This talk seemed to be exactly what I needed to hear and I walked away with a new perspective on things. One quote I wrote down, which really hit home from last night was, "It is a marathon not a sprint and you will never check off all the boxes." Being firstborn, I can tend to be a little bit of a perfectionist. I have high expectations for our homeschooling and can be quite prideful. I love having a perfectly organized teacher's lesson plan book with perfectly written out lessons and activities for the week. If I do not feel like we will get through everything by the end of the week I begin to get quite frustrated and I know my kids bare the brunt of the frustration. I definitely have areas in my life and homeschooling where I feel I know best. Last night I was reminded that pride and high expectations are like waving a fist of rebellion in the face of the ruler of the universe. I need to remember to take everything to Jesus in prayer not just the few choice areas I have decided to turn over to Him.

This week has been a great week to regroup and refocus. I am making changes where changes need to be made and after last night will spend more time in prayer over what the rest of our year will look like. I do not like to have "New Year's Resolutions" because I feel for the most part it is silly. Instead, I like to work on one area of my life. This year I have decided that will be finding joy in the everyday. That will begin with me finding joy in my kids just being kids. I am going to let go of some of those "high expectations" that I have and let them just enjoy having fun. I am going to remember why it is we homeschool - not just to check off boxes.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," decalares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year's Getaway

We spent New Year's at our friend's vacation home in the mountains. It was a nice getaway ...

New Year's Eve we let the kids have fun with sparklers ...

Some of us made it to Midnight ... others did not.

New Year's Day we enjoyed a traditional Southern meal of Honey Baked Ham, Black Eyed Peas, Collard Green and Red Velvet Cake.

We are home now and the fun of packing up Christmas begins.