Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Incline Your Heart

For our 10th wedding anniversary last August, my husband helped me reorganize and spruce up our homeschool space in our house. One of the biggest projects he tackled was to help me organize the closet that was in the room – it had unfortunately become a catch-all for everything that didn’t have a home and needed some serious attention.

Find out how I turned a closet clean-out / home improvement project into a lesson from God by clicking here to read the rest of the post on the Jelly Telly blog. : )

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

March Reading Notes … or Lack Thereof

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A recent, very short, moment of reading in the car while one of the girls was at a freezing cold soccer practice.

So. February and March have both passed (or will by the end of the week), and I have very little to say for myself in what I have read of late. Our days have been FULL with school, soccer, softball practices (games haven’t started yet), and other mundane things like laundry and dishes, and reading time has been hard to come by. And when I say hard to come by, I mean that when I sit down with a book in the evening, it is entirely possible that I can’t keep my eyes open after about the second paragraph.

Ahem.

However, I am missing time in books. So this here is my reboot at some kind of plan for the next month on what I want to read! Surely there will be a small moment, in the sunshine, and someone’s soccer practice when I can pull out a book for a moment? : )

First, by way of review, we actually DID get a few things read in February, even though it doesn’t feel like it! (My big plans were here.)

And that all I have to say for myself for the past eight weeks.

HOWEVER, we have been on fire with reading aloud. I’ve shifted things up and we have been reading in our family room (a room in our house that gets very little use during the day because we’re normally upstairs) and it gets the best after-lunch sunshine. We pile on couches and have been getting in a solid hour of reading aloud after lunch on most days. Of late, we have finished:

  • The Railway Children by E. Nesbit. LOVED this book. I was sorely tempted to read ahead of the girls but I didn’t. We’ll be reading more E. Nesbit aloud one of these days. (Or I may read it alone.) : )
  • Winona’s Pony Cart by Maud Hart Lovelace. Not my favorite by the author of the wonderful Betsy-Tacy books, but we did enjoy reading it aloud together.
  • The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne. I read Winnie the Pooh with N1 as one of if not the first chapter book we read together several years ago. We realized that we read that even before B was born and that meant we HAD to pull it off the shelf. Of note: the boy say in my lap and listened intently to this one. A first for him and a chapter book!

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  • We are currently reading Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown and it’s been delightful so far. We are reading both this book and Winona in conjunction with the March Reading to Know bookclub selection of any of the works of Maud Hart Lovelace. Betsy-Tacy is redeeming the lackluster Winona in my opinion. : )

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  • We’ve also started reading aloud as many evenings as we can (when nighttime activities don’t interfere). This is something that we have definitely been more off than on with over the years, but I was tipped off to an interview with Andrew Pudewa who is the director for the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) by Sarah at Amongst Lovely Things. (N1 will be using his curriculum next year when she moved into the Essentials program (for grades 4-6) of Classical Conversations.) Nurturing Competent Communicators was well worth the $3 I paid for it and it has rekindled the read-aloud fire in this house. Anyway, all that to say … in the evenings we are reading Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming. I was sent a review copy of this new version from Amazon and since I hadn’t read this (but have managed to see a Bond movie or two written by the same author) I decided we ought to see what his one and only children’s book is like. Three chapters in so far… : )

As far as goals for April, I want to laugh at the thought of making any. I am going to attempt No Name by Wilkie Collins (the Reading to Know March bookclub selection). We are going to finish our current Betsy-Tacy and CCBB and will move on to something else. Past that, I don’t know. I picked up The Fellowship of the Ring the other night and am about two chapters in to that, but that takes some serious time with the book to get any kind of forward movement with it and I just don’t know that I have that to devote to Tolkien right now. Maybe this summer. : )

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Lots of reading aloud to the boy right now – thankful that I have two other (N1 and N2) readers that will help me keep up with his request for Mon-ter Tucks! Again!

If Amy hasn’t had a baby this week, I’ll be linking up with Read-Aloud Thursday!

January 2013 Reading Plans
February 2013 Reading Plans

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Scenes from Saturday

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Softball clinic for the oldest.

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Graphic design work for church. I’m rusty.

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Fun mail.

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Reading truck books.

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Grilled cheese for kids.

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Boy toys.

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So much laundry to fold.

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Cozy.

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Around Here :: March 2013

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:: finally finished The Scarlet Letter for the Reading to Know book club.

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:: getting a little excited for warmer weather (St. Pat’s print from eighteen25)

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:: working on measuring with the kindergartener

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:: letting the boy have a Friday morning bath after a night of upset tummies. (And soaking in some sunshine at the same time).

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:: letting him wear himself out at the park (something I need to do more of)

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:: looking the other way (some of the time) when he sneaks into his sister’s bed and she reads Calvin and Hobbes to him.

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:: discovering the sock bun! As a mama of girls with long, fine hair, I love it!

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:: playing with dinosaurs that camouflage themselves on the couch.

Happy Friday!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Saturday Soccer Times Two

Warning! Warning! Photo overload! Soccer season has started and my niece manned my camera this weekend at the games. Thanks, J. : )

We have had a hard time getting our soccer season started this year. Between regular spring rain and the three days of SNOW the first weekend in March, we have been hard pressed to get any practices under our belts. Our first weekend of games were cancelled due to snow (again, CRAZINESS for middle Tennessee) so this was the season opener for both the girls. Yes, both! We have two girls playing soccer this spring and we were so thankful for such a beautiful day and for all our fans that came out to cheer us on!

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First was N2’s game. Her team has managed to practice twice before this game and the temperatures was literally 30 degrees at both practices. C.O.L.D. It sure was nice watching her play when it was sunny and almost warm in our coats!

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We were so proud of how well N2 did on her first game. The screaming when she scored her first goal was quite something. : )

By the time of B’s lunchtime game we had shed the coats and some of us were quite comfy in short sleeves. This was a motley group of bystanders.

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Seems like B hasn’t forgotten what she has learned in the last year of playing. That girl loves to run.

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Cute substitute coach alert. : )

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By the end, we were all wiped with the excitement. : )

In the interest of being totally honest for posterity, I will admit that we are doing some serious soccer shuffling on some evenings and that there will be Saturdays where we have overlapping games and T and I will be headed in different directions. Some nights I am not sure what time we will get fed with people going in all different directions! I’m really having to be on the ball to make sure we aren’t eating chicken nuggets multiple times a week. That said, I totally see this as being a good choice for our family right now. With rare exceptions, we spend three days a week home all day long hanging out and doing school. To get out for practices on those evenings after we have spent our day studying and reading and learning together is a good thing. We stretch our legs. We get some much needed sunshine and Vitamin D. A certain boy gets to run off steam and sleeps well at night. Dinners have to be a bit quicker or prepped ahead of time, but with enough planning it hasn’t been a stressor so far. I’m thankful for the opportunity to instill a love of exercise and fitness in my kids at this early age … something I sadly lack.

However, I’m working on that myself to set a good example. : )

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Monday, March 04, 2013

Not Enough Hours in the Day

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Life is very full right now.

March brings with it two girls playing soccer and one getting ready to start softball practice. A husband preparing and practicing for an Easter service. Friends having babies, parents and daughter and brother-in-law having birthdays. The calendar is f.u.l.l.

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So when I can’t even really think straight to make a list of what I need to be doing, what do I do instead. Dump an entire box of Fruit Loops (or the generic Aldi’s equivalent, Fruit Rounds) into a bowl and hand out string. Little girls (especially the littlest) sat still for 45 minutes while I finished our current read aloud and we found out what happened with Winona and the pony. (We needed to finish it).

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It was a good reminder to me that I really need to do more of these activities with the girls and not always wait until I’m caught up on everything. They didn’t mind that it was simple and thrown together at the last minute. They did like that I sat with them and said “yes” and not “later.”

The “later” days are dwindling when they think making fruit loop round necklaces pass for a cool pastime. I need to soak in more of them.