Thursday, April 30, 2009
Travis took Will to school early this morning(actually, Will drove Travis-now that he has his learner's permit). Travis came home and I was up with the children doing laundry, getting out breakfast, etc...We have a tradition that we use the first of the wild Asparagus to make omelets. So I made Travis an Omelet which he devoured :). Some of the children wanted pancakes, so we made pancakes and bacon. We started to clean up, but at around 10:30 Anna wanted to be put down for a nap(which involves nursing her to sleep, usually in the rocking chair in my room). I headed upstairs for a nice respite, when Emily came in the room with a copy of Henri Fabre's Storybook Of Science. We began to read about electricity. Sam, who was listening ,said very excitedly, "Oh...so that's what all those little sparks are that I see in my covers every night.." This launched us into a long conversation about static electricity.
Enter: Oliver-who just woke up about fifteen minutes ago(late night baseball is rough on the kids!). "Mom," he said,"I didn't get any pancakes. Will you make me some please?" I explained that I was tied up at the moment, but he could put some on the griddle himself. "There's no batter left," he replied expectantly. So I told him how to make the batter and cook them. He went down stairs and made them and did a very good job! Sometimes my kids do much better when I can't tend to them right away!
Back to the science. In his book, Fabre describes an experiment you can do with paper and a stove that demonstrates electricity at work. So down we go to the kitchen. The experiment is a success! That's always a plus, as lots of times the books make it look so easy, only to have the experiment fail and the kids thoroughly disappointed.
When we were doing the experiment, the paper became brown and dingy-resembling an old historical document. Emily noticed this and asked if she could use it as "olden days" stationery. She spent the next thirty minutes writing on this paper!
Meanwhile, Sam, Oliver, Mary Margaret and I pulled out our Let's Read And Find Out books about storms and electricity (incidentally, this was the first set of books I ever bought for my kids- 25 cents a piece at the Christian Mission in Alabama. Kind of fitting that Will's first books wre science books! I highly recommend these books to anyone who wants to have fun learning about science.) We then read a book about St. Jerome and the Lion by Rumer Godden. It was a sweet story. We finished up with The Grey Lady And The Strawberry Snatcher by Molly Bang-an absolute all time favorite of my children!!!
Anna woke up and we never finished the kitchen, so we tidied the house and began making lunch. All and all, it was a nice, happy morning. Normally we would have been outside, but the rain kept us in to enjoy the coziness of learning together!
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Here are a few other bird sightings in our yard today:
Hummingbirds, a Bluejay, Goldfinches, a pair of Housefinches(building a nest), a Carolina wren, Song Sparrows, Barn Swallows, and a Phoebe
Here are two books I am currently reading to broaden my horizons a bit. They are just fun to pick up and read every now and then; you don't have to read them chronologically or read cover to cover:
1. An Underground Education by Richard Zacks(some parts a little questionable, but kind of interesting)
2. An Incomplete Education by Judy Jones and William Wilson
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Every time Sam and Oliver got hot today, they ran down to the creek and jumped in!You can hear the frogs in one of the videos! (Is it just me, or are these videos a hassle to upload? Maybe my computer is just slow...)
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
"...every hour spent in the open is a clear gain, tending to the increase of brain power and bodily vigour, and to the lengthening of life itself..."(p.42)
"Get the children to look well at some patch of landscape, and then to shut their eyes and call up the picture before them, if any bit of it is blurred, they had better look at it again."(p.48)
(on observing flowers)"The flowers, it is true, are not new;but the children are;..."
"Never be within doors when yo can rightly be without." ((p. 42)
"In the first place, do not send them(outside);if it is anyway possible, take them; for although the children should be left much to themselves, there is great deal to be done and a great deal to be prevented during these long hours in the open air." ((p.43)
Today was rather chily and windy. The sun came out and in, and it rained off and on. I found myself feeling restless for nice weather-which is supposed to be coming at the end of the week.
I stayed up late last night, creating "jib-jab" cards to send to the kids. They thought it was hilarious and had great fun creating some of their own today.
I talked to Kathleen-that was so wonderful!!!
Tonight John Paul, Emily, and I had a great game of twenty questions. They finally got the answer on the last question!
Read James and The Giant Peach to Emily, Oliver, Sam ,and Mary Margaret. They liked it so much that Sam was crying when I finally had to stop reading. He said he wants to learn to read so that he can read it to himself. That was music to my ears, as he has not shown too much interest in reading as of yet.
I am going to begin reading Charlotte Mason's Volume 1 (Home Education) as a way to jumpstart Operation Bubbles.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
We had some very heavy rains yesterday and today. Tommy got stuck in the mud when he tried to bring his bike through the garden. I heard him calling when I was in the kitchen: "Help! Mom I'm stuck! Help me!!!" I came running out to find him stuck in the mud. Here is a video of Oliver trying to rescue him!( I couldn't resist!):
Monday, April 20, 2009
On a sadder note, we got home to find all but three of the chicks drowned..They were in the basement,and the hose broke loose from the sump pump and fell into the chicken pen. It is so frustrating, but I guess it's just part of life when you're trying to raise animals.
Time to go read to the children and tuck them into bed. Too bad I didn't get any book sale pictures. The camera batteries were being recharged. Oh well, maybe next year!
Sunday, April 19, 2009
If my house could talk, the mud-stained doors and floors in the entryway would tell me: "I have lots of little children, muddy from hours of happy outdoor play, pushing and pulling on me all day!"
If my house could talk, the sink piled with dishes would say: "I'm sorry, but I am filled to the brim, for the lady of the house chose to neglect me and went to her sons' baseball games today. In fact, the whole family neglected me, because they wanted to be there together."
If my house could talk, the floors strewn with toys and odds and ends would protest, "It is not my fault! The children here are playing on me all day, and especially the baby wears me out by dragging and rattling toys and trucks everywhere! And the older children are always making creations with paper and legos, so pardon the snippets and rubble!"
If my house could talk, the laundry piled on the table might cry out: "fold me! The boy who is in charge of me won't get off the piano or leave the basketball court. And now he wants to play with his little brother, and his mother even gave him permission to ignore me for the moment!!!"
If my house would talk, the unvacumed rugs might tell you, "the people here have no regard for us. They walk on us all day, every day, and now they are too busy playing games and reading books to give us any attention. Even our friends, the beds and the bookcases, have been left to drown in a sea of dust while this family goes about having fun all day. "
If my house could talk, the whole house would complain:" This is the worst insult, yet!!!The mother of this household could be tending to me now that the children are all in bed, but instead she chooses to sit in front of that little black box, chronicling all the things the family has done while neglecting me! It is plain to see that I'm not the priority around here. Humph!!!"
So when I am feeling discouraged, as I was earlier today-that I haven't done enough, worked hard enough, been efficient enough.....I will quiet down and let my house talk to me.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I realized this evening that it has been a while since I've sat down to read with the little ones(Mary Margaret and Tommy) for an extended period of time. So after dinner tonight, we read until the children grew tired of reading (and me,too-if this is possible?) This is the list of books we read. (I always enjoy seeing what other people are reading to their children) :
1. Five LIttle Monkeys Sitting In A Tree by Eileen Christelow
2. Daisy Thinks She Is A Baby by Lisa Kopper(Thanks for the suggestion, Lissa)
3.The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, And THe Hungry Bear by Don & Audrey Wood)
4.If you Give A Cat A Cupcake by Laura Numeroff
5.In A Dark, Dark Room And Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz(read this one several times at Tommy's insistence)
6.How Do Dinosaurs Clean Their Rooms by Mark Teague(read three times!)
7.Goody O'Grumpity by Carol Ryrie Brink(glad this was just a library book-Caddie Woodlawn was much better!)
8.Blueberries For The Queen by John and Katherine Paterson(Pictures by Susan Jeffers were nice, story not so great)
9.The Ear Book by Al Perkins(read this one when I was a kid. My kids laugh at the same parts as I did.)
10.Flicka,Ricka, Dicka&The Little Dog by Maj Lindman(I Love These Books)
11.Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes(Cute story.Mary Margaret liked it.)
12.Love You Forever by Robert Munsch (Read twice-is it just me or is the mom in this story a little bit psycho? I wonder what her daughter-in-law thought when the mother-in-law crawled through the window to rock her son to sleep!!!)
It really was fun to read together-fun and cheap entertainment. And yes, there were dirty dishes waiting in the sink....it's all about priorities!!!
Monday, April 13, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
We had a wonderful Easter. I hope you did, too. We started out the day by going to Mass. Then my parents and sisters came over. We had a big Easter egg hunt and a ham dinner. Even the adults got to hunt for some eggs. That made for many laughs. Dad organized a fun game for us called "junque safary" (misspelling intended!)He had some things he was getting rid of(everything from personal memorabilia-"papabilia" to duct-taped headphones). The object of the game was to pick out the item that you thought everyone else would choose last when allowed to pick. Then we each went in to the room where Dad was and told him which item we thought would be picked last. After we all(individually) told him our guess, we all came back into the room and took turns picking items to keep. The person who ended up choosing correctly the last remaining item was the winner. And I won!!(the grand prize winner received $4 !!!) And I got a pair of duct-taped headphones to boot! THe kids had a blast, too!!!Thanks, Dad!! Our friend Lew came and brought delicious desserts, and we all over-stuffed ourselves!!! It really was a wonderful day.
Annna rides the horsie in her Easter dress.
Tommy was dressed up for church, too!
Mary Margaret looked so pretty in her Easter dress and bonnet.
Mom made a beautiful little Easter garden with a handmade chick in it. Isn't it adorable?