Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Little Bit Country...

We got to spend an afternoon in the country with a friend on a Sabbath recently. The kids were enamored with the creek, forest and little farm.I wish we could have a little piece of land like that ourselves, but we are suburban folks for now.

Isn't God's handiwork just beautiful?? Many are His blessings!!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What I've Made Lately...

 I've been brushing up on my hand embroidery just for fun :) I made this cute sheep for my wall of art below...

I also made the Duck Dynasty on the left. I did not make the beautiful "blessed" hoop on the right, but isn't it pretty!?? I have a few more designs to work on as time permits...hahahahha time.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Water Balloons and Popsicles

We've been working our way through our Summer Bucket List.

We've crossed off several including water balloons and making popsicles.

 I love that I caught the splash of the balloon popping!!

 And the balloon about to hit Harrison!
Cherry-Limeade popsicles, Yes Kool-Aid, as much as I try to avoid food dyes, sometimes you just gotta do a little something!

Hope we can cross them all off by September!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

To the Fair

Recently we went to the fair with Grandpa and they had a good time, especially Eli as he was very brave and went on rides I never imagined he'd go on!

 Eli made me ride the ferris wheel with him, which I didn't love, because I hate the height!

 Eli enjoying the smaller roller coaster.

 They love that super slide thing.

 This is the big coaster Eli and I went on, three times! He LOVED it. I couldn't believe he wasn't scared.

 Harrison refused to go on the big coaster, maybe next year!

 I lost count of how many times they went on the slide.

 NO one went on this ride, Harrison said he did it last year with Grandpa and it is INSANE how it goes round and round and then goes backwards....insanely fast! No thank you, I don't enjoy throwing up.

The obligatory swing photograph.

They were still grumpy throughout the day and on the way home (God forbid they drive an hour without a screen!! THE HORROR!) But I know they had a blast and would love to go again. Who doesn't love the fair??

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Getting ready....

Can't believe it's almost the end of June! Our summer home-school session starts next Monday, the 24th!!! Crazy! I've gotten all our curriculum, made our lesson plans and gotten stuff prepped for the first week or two. I'm very excited!!
For those curious about what we're using, here's a rundown:

*Saxon Math: 1 for Eli and Saxon Math 3 for Harrison.
*Five in a Row for overall curriculum for Eli. I think it's a tad young for Harrison, but I think that he will enjoy doing it with us, especially the crafts. I really like this program because it takes a book and they read it every day, (hence the five in a row), which really reinforces the points in the's how I like teaching literature.
*Apologia Science: Flying Creatures of the 5th Day. I think this will be too advanced for Eli, who's a Kindergartner, but he can listen in or he can just do the experiments with us.
*Story of the World: This is a great classical history curriculum that again may be too advanced for Eli, but he can listen in from time to time, and do the activities with us. I plan to incorporate Harrison's love of Minecraft into this, giving him the task of creating worlds to match what we are studying.

We will add Spelling and Geography for Harrison and Phonics for Eli in the fall. There are a ton of other little things we do that I don't talk about like adding words to our Word Wall, arts, Legos, educational apps on the Kindle and Ipad, etc. They resume PE in the fall as well.

I think we are slowly getting used to the idea of homeschooling. We are getting more used to being together ALL the time. They've had their ups and downs of attitudes, behaviors and getting along. I'm reevaluating how I deal with the children and how I allow myself to react to their behaviors. I know we'll get on each other's nerves, I know they'll have bad days, I know there will be days where the house looks like it exploded (okay that's ever day...) but I hope they enjoy learning at their own pace, and really, truly absorbing what we study.

Thanks for coming along on our journey!~~

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pinterest Inspiration: Rain Gutter Shelves

I had seen the awesome rain gutter shelves on Pinterest for awhile now. There are several great tutorials including this fun one:

The only thing I did different was I had Home Depot cut the gutters for me. At first they were hesitant until they realized I meant the vinyl gutters, not the metal ones. The gutters come in ten foot sections, so I had them cut them in half since I was using a fairly large wall space (where a bookshelf had formerly stood).

I had to run BACK to home depot to get the brackets because I didn't remember to get them the first time, I am the most un-handy person ever, despite my crafty skills, so I wasn't thinking of how to actually get the gutters ON the wall. Hey, I can only be so many shades of perfect at once...

This is also a two person job because one person needs to find level and hold the gutters while another screws the brackets in. Maybe you can do it alone...I'm not that awesome.

Anyhoo, we got it going, and thankfully the gutters slide while the brackets are up because I didn't factor in our hall door when I put them up, so we slid the gutters down a tad so the door would open fully. Again..not a handy lady...

But it's DONE! It frees up floor space, and is very visually open. The books are facing out so children can see choices, and it's much easier to change up the book selection for seasons, themes, etc. My kids still don't read as much as I'd like them to, but this encourages them to just grab a book whenever. I'd like to make a cozy spot on the floor that folds up so they can just grab a book and settle down.

I have one more gutter and I'd like to put it in the boys room to hold books for nighttime reading, but haven't decided if that's what I want to do. I think they'd also be great cut into smaller pieces for bathroom storage, craft room storage, garage storage and more!

I still have to say, Pinterest makes my life so much easier!!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Summer Bucket List!

First off, if you are on Instagram, feel free to find me and follow our shenanigans! My IG username is "mamaslittlemonkeys" of course :)

I was inspired by Pinterest of course to create a Summer Bucket List. We've checked off a few things already since I took this pic!

We've definitely gone swimming plenty, been to The Peacebaker for some yummy Gluten Free goodies,

had playdates, because sometimes Angry Birds just need a tea party...

and broke a pinata!


And yet my boys complain of being bored!! I've warned them if they keep up the complaining I would show them what bored REALLY is! But since we only have two weeks left of our "real" summer vacation, I think they'll survive. We start summer session for homeschool June 24th, and I suspect they will wishing they'd been a little bored over their break!! I'm looking forward to August when public school starts again and we will take a month break and enjoy the pool at the gym to ourselves!!!

Not much is "planned" the next two weeks, which is how I like it. We'll definitely go swimming and continue to knock stuff off our Bucket List. The boys have enjoyed it, and I will carry it through all summer, so we don't feel a pressure to finish stuff. Hang out with friends, sleepovers, indoor camping, these kids have no clue how good they have it!

What's on your summer bucket list??

Monday, June 3, 2013

Angry Birds Geography

Who says a lesson has to be planned, prepared or even premeditated?? My son requested some colored/laminated Angry Birds characters. He requested these when he saw some made by the 8 year old son of my best friend. He (and I) thought it was a pretty nifty idea, so Eli asked for some of his own. He requested Angry Birds Star Wars characters.

I remembered how much I loved my flannelboard stories when I was a teacher, so I covered a box in felt and stuck the hook side of Velcro tabs on the back of the angry birds. (I used Contact paper to cover them, instead of busting out the laminating machine.) 

So Eli has had a ball playing with these. But I didn't expect him to take them to his room where the United States map was and start playing with it that way. We moved the characters all around the country, having them travel from state to state. Luke Skywalker hung out with Princess Leia for a bit in Texas, they all had to escape from Darth Pig in North Carolina.

I didn't set out to do a lesson on the US States, but we ended up on one!

To make your own, google any coloring pages of what you want, color, and then cover with contact paper. Stick a 'hook' side of a velcro tab on the back and they will stick to felt and other items (like a rug!) :)



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