Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Fall...

Ever since I had a child who could read the calendar, the change of seasons has been fun. We've learned the months, the seasons, the days of the week, the holidays, etc. It's a wonderful part of homeschooling.

This year I have a complaint to file. Every year, with every child, I've stressed that just because the calendar says it's spring, summer, fall or winter, that doesn't mean you expect flowers and no more cold weather that day in March, or nice warm temperatures and getting to wear shorts on June 21st, or the leaves changing color and wearing sweatshirts in September, or snow on December 21st (my birthday, which is always cool...).

This year it's Nathanael and Samuel learning dates and paying more attention to seasonal changes and I've stressed how these changes are gradual as the earth changes its angle toward the sun and the weather gradually gets cooler.

Yesterday it was 80.

Today it is 45.

I am losing all credibility here, come on.

Here in Texas, especially in the panhandle, if you don't like the weather, wait a minute.

It will be 80 again in a few days but today, the first day of fall, we look at the thermometer and it shows 45...

I am loving it. However, I'm laughing at myself. It's good for you, try it.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Updates for September...

Not a whole lot new.

School has started and we have lots of stuff going. Everyone is busy at work, though we still need to get Michael's advanced algebra book. He is fine for now, has plenty to work on between Italian, research report, and literature, plus various merit badges he's working on. He is now a Star and still working hard towards Eagle. Busy 7th grader with activities every week for Young Men. I can't believe he'll be a teenager in 2 months. He is very responsible, great at babysitting (which is a huge help with doctor appointments and other short errands) and a big help in everything, as well as a good example to those around him in any situation. He is still short for his age but our family hits growth spurts late.

Benjamin is now in 5th grade, working hard on English, Italian, finishing up some old math work before he starts PreAlgebra stuff. I need to get everyone going on Spelling, science, and maybe health. History is still going strong as we read and watch everything we can find about the Revolutionary War. He will be 11 in just a few weeks (General Conference weekend) and will move on from Webelos to 11 year old Scouts. He is almost done with his Arrow of Light, but I tease him that he's cutting it close! He just needs a little extra motivation sometimes. He is a little frustrated right now that Emilie is a bit taller than him. He will grow.

Emilie is in a homeschool ballet class. This is very different from her previous classes, which were more performance based and simple steps. This class is much more technical and she is learning a lot. She has learned what she needs to work on and what she does well naturally. It is nice as a mom to see her learn and apply herself to something she loves. It is also nice to have teachers that point out what she does well to her (and me) as well as help her work on her shortcomings. I think it is good for her to be in a class with other homeschooled girls her age. She is taking French through the same program the boys are doing for Italian. Her math is coming along, and she is not sure what she thinks of our English work this year, but she can do it. She still loves Activity Days at church and is trying lots of new things.

Nathanael is in 1st grade now, reading very well, and getting better at focusing and working harder. He likes to read and draw. We really have not started anything new with him but he is coming along with what we do formally. I debated starting a math program we did with Emilie but I think he would not do well with busywork and we will keep up with the concepts in everyday life learning. It is odd that we will not have a Cub Scout in our home til he turns 8 in about a year and a half. Then we will have Cub Scouts til Christopher turns 11!

Nathanael learning out loud has probably really helped Samuel learn to read. Samuel is our newest reader; at 4 years old he is not the youngest, Michael was about the same age and reading. It is fun to read with him and see the light bulb go on. He loves science and new library books, and playing with Nathanael. He and Nathanael are also getting a huge kick out of teaching Timothy new words. Hoping just the good ones... :) He likes doing schoolwork, too, but we keep it simple and he is working on writing skills.

Timothy is talking! A lot of parrot imitation at this point but he does express himself. I love that I get yeses and noes from him. He tries to say everyone's name but Benjamin is the one he says the best. He loves babies, especially a baby boy in the ward who has come over to our house a couple times. So we hope he'll love Liberty. He just randomly says words as he plays or comes running up to us so thrilled he knows the word for what he has or sees in a book. It took me a few days, but I kept hearing him say "Jesus" and I was looking for a picture of Jesus but couldn't figure out if that is what he was saying (He does say Jesus when we are reading scripture books, etc) and then finally he pointed to a zebra... I guess that's close...? He says Treat for Tree, loves saying cars and airplane and body parts and book and lots of other things like shoes and socks and shirt. He turns 3 in November so we were kind of wondering if he would ever speak...

Christopher is getting tall. He is very long and skinny for his age. He will be 18 months at the end of September. He doesn't say much but we moved him to Nathanael and Samuel's room at the beginning of the month and he's doing great, for both bedtime and naps. He's been a bit sick the last little while though. We aren't sure how he's going to do with the new baby; while he loves babies, he's been very clingy around mom lately. He loves cars and playing with Timothy. Thank goodness he still naps once a day, otherwise he's very grouchy.

Liberty is growing and growing and very active. We have no idea when she's coming, but most likely late October. We will have an ultrasound this week to see how she's doing and a possible size estimate. She's feeling very big.

Tom and I are doing the same. Life is good, callings, job, and kids are keeping us very busy, though I'm having to slow down quite a bit with the whole 8 months pregnant thing. After having 8, I guess contractions are old hat and come easier and earlier. Anyway, thats our life at the moment with Cub Scouts and Relief Society and Elders Quorum callings. Tom does have to travel once more before the baby comes, but hopefully no more til after she's here!

That's it for updates, I'll have more pictures next time.