Thursday, August 30, 2007

Homemade Laptops

A while back the kids made laptops. Elizabeth had a stylus for hers where she would point with it to things on the screen for a kind of game (the stickers are the game). Jonathan made his out of a rabbit puzzle piece.

School has made things a little busier than life before. It takes more time to plan the following weeks schoolwork (I do this on Wednesday's so I can make a list of books to get from the library on Thursday which is our errand day). I also have to type up everything we do for the portfolio that the state wants us to keep. Each evening I go over the next day's work and get it ready. And of course it takes an hour or two during the day to do the schoolwork. I am going to lighten up the load we've been doing. I'm overeager as always and am trying to do too much. But that's the joy of homeschooling. I can do that without a lot of trouble!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Remember when they were babies?

So cute and cuddly! I have to remember them this way when they are fighting with each other and throwing fits and behaving in a generally obnoxious way. Of course I get more sleep now that they're older! "Enjoy every stage" ~ advice I need to take.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Inspired Sewing Project

PleasantViewSchoolHouse blogger Anna inspired me to do this sewing project. (Click on her link to the right to see some things she has made.) Elizabeth has been wanting a robe to wear at night and in the morning since she gets cold easily; I had told her a while back that I would crochet one for her and then lost the pattern. So I found this sewing pattern, and she picked out the material and I got it made in a week! Much more quickly than I thought possible for myself.

Monday, August 20, 2007

First Day of School!

It was a successful first schoolday at the Gore home. I got up early to get myself ready (as I started doing last week to prepare myself) and had plenty of time for breakfast and reading before the kids woke up. The kids picked out their school clothes: blue jean shorts and a sequined butterfly tee shirt for Elizabeth and a white tee shirt with Elizabeth's old Cubbies vest over top for Jonathan (I guess it's kind of like a school uniform for him?). And he's wearing underwear and shorts now, and we've had no accidents so far today.

Accomplishments for the day:

~Read half a chapter from Genesis.

~Looked at two paintings/drawings of birds by John James Audubon. (I have these on my computer desktop, so they can see them all week.)

~Listened to two selections by Johann Sebastian Bach (I found these online for free.)

~Had calendar time.

~Elizabeth read about 5 words from her A Beka phonics book.

~Jonathan did his name page (match the magnet letters to the letters in his name).

~I read half a chapter from Farmer Boy.

~Elizabeth started copying Genesis 1:1 (first three words done).

~Elizabeth put 2 events up on our timeline (Creation and the Flood).

~Jonathan did several pages in a preschool book we have on colors, shapes, and such.

~Watched Little Einsteins on TV (great for exposing little ones to art, music and movement).

All of this was under 2 hours. The bookwork part took less than an hour. Phoebe happily played in the hall (we had the gate up so she could see us in the school room but couldn't come in) and didn't throw a fit (except once when she couldn't get her play shoes to do what she wanted them to do).

We celebrated with lunch at Taco Bell, so we could use our coupons we got from the summer reading program. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

10 Years Ago

Ten years ago this month, I left home for college in Missouri. Phillip and I have known each other for 10 years now. I went to Sonic tonight to reminisce ~ I used to go to Sonic with friends from college. Tonight I got a small cranberry-lime iced tea. Then we used to mainly get cherry-lime slushies (someone else always bought for me and I think if you bought so many, you'd get one free). We would drive around town and talk and listen to music. Jessica would sing songs from Veggie Tales ~ now my kids listen to those same songs and I crack up laughing! Everyone has moved on now ~ some have kids, some have careers. Lots of life lessons have been learned as opposed to college lessons. I really enjoy remembering back, but I'm glad to have my family life to come back to. Tomorrow we start school!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Who's in Charge?

Jonathan and I had a little talk yesterday about who's in charge. He's been trying out disobedience and wanting to "finish building with my blocks first", etc. So I asked him who was in charge and after saying he was, I explained that Daddy and I were in charge. We talked about Who put us in charge (God did). And that we help him do what's right until he's old enough to be responsible to God himself, etc. He then asked me if God put me and Daddy to bed and if God puts us on the couch (part of our time-out for the kids). :-) I told him that God had other ways of disciplining and training us, but that he did discipline. I don't know how much he understood, but we'll have this conversation several times before he's grown up, I'm sure. I want the kids to know that they are individuals, and we won't always be over their shoulder telling them what to do. And that our mandate of raising them comes from a higher Person than ourselves.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

E J Ph updates

We've lost the cord to connect our camera to our computer, so I'm not able to put up new pictures. So you'll just have to use your imagination when I write my posts for a while.

Elizabeth has taken on a new job of being a mini-mommy. The last couple of days she's placed Phoebe (she only weighs 10 pounds more than Phoebes) into her high chair, given her a bottle of milk, and made her a peanut butter and honey sandwich cut into fourths for supper. She thinks I should pay her to do this job. I tell her it's just part of being a family!

Jonathan is continuing potty training. He's had several accidents, but is making progress. He is all boy! He copies his dad when praying for lunch, only he talks in a low, growly voice. He throws his body and legs around always hitting us fragile girls and leaving bruises (his flying feet can really hurt!). We've been reading Laura Ingalls series which you know is about 3 girls and Ma and Pa. Jonathan doesn't mind that because he says he's Pa riding on a horse! Elizabeth uses carrots to teach him "Giddap" and "Woa" (the way Almanzo taught his calves to start and stop). Jonathan loves carrots, and I'm glad he's getting his Vitamin A!

Phoebe is so tan and beautiful ~ she has these gorgeous exotic eyes with long eyelashes. She is a little spoiled. The kids don't necessarily let her have anything she wants which I'm glad for, but she throws a fit if anyone takes something from her. She has also been experimenting with hitting others. And she likes the word "No!" She can really work up into tears too when she wants to (like when Dad corrects her). She starts sniffling and her lower lip starts blubbering in an out and she looks around to make sure everyone is watching. Talk about making boudin'!

We start schooling Elizabeth next Monday. I've been getting her curriculum ready this week. She can't decide if she wants to be an astronaut or an archeologist ~ I'm trying to find ways for her to learn about both of these things since she shows interest. Any ideas for a 5 - 6 year old would be appreciated!

Monday, August 13, 2007

New Recipes

We had the church staff over today for lunch. Usually they eat out together on Mondays, but we thought we'd invite them over this time (save a little money on Phillip eating out). We had baked chicken breasts with a curry honey glaze (except for a few pieces with just seasoning since not everyone likes curry); spinach salad (fresh spinach leaves with cheddar, bacon, egg and ranch dressing); rice and orzo; and two new dishes from Taste of Home (pictures not my own).

Fried Apples and Onions (Almanzo's favorite dish in "Farmer Boy" by Laura Ingalls) was a surprisingly good dish (they all tried a little to be polite, but then thought it was very good after tasting it).

Pear Pandowdy with Ice Cream was new and a good down-home dessert. It has a biscuit-like topping that I enjoyed. Both of these recipes can be found online at

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Update on Potty Training

Today we did potty training full-bore. Jonathan just wore a long t-shirt all day and nothing else (not even underwear since he feels like he's wearing a diaper and will just go wherever he is instead of in the toilet). We had no accidents! He took himself to the bathroom every time (he wouldn't go at my suggestion which is very independent of him). We'll keep up with the "only t-shirt" thing for a few days and then try underwear and a t-shirt.

Friday, August 10, 2007

What a day!

Yesterday Phillip and I celebrated our 7th anniversary! We did it up well this year. Phillip had this whole week off for vacation (we just enjoyed time at home with an art musuem trip thrown in on Tuesday). Thursday a friend took our kids (we had watched their kids for their anniversary) and then another family took the kids that evening and night. We went to St. Augustine, FL for the day (it's the oldest city in the nation!). Looked around the outlet mall for a while. Had a simple lunch. Then we rode the tour train (above picture) around the city and got to listen to some amazing history. It was a very hot day, but we had cold water and the sea breeze felt good when the train was moving.

This is one of the sites you see on the tour, Castillo de San Marcos: "A bastion of the largest empire ever created, the Castillo was built to protect and defend Spain’s claims in the New World. Though caught in the whirlwinds of colonial warfare and intrigue, it was never defeated in battle. Its scarred walls still stand witness to over 330 years of history and culture."

After the tour we went to the beach! It was so much fun to go without the kids. We built our own castle in the sand, swam (I haven't actually swam in years; I found out I still can, sort of.), and got a little sunburnt (but nothing like the last sunburn).

We came home and got ready for a nice dinner at Maggiano's Little Italy in Jacksonville. One of the best parts of the day was riding home in a quiet car listening (and singing) to George Strait (some of the best country music you'll find!). It was really great and we were so grateful for the friends who kept our kids. We did miss the kids by the time it was time for them to come home though.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A Home Fun Fave

The kids love to take the cushions off the couch and build with them, jump on them, etc. We bought the couch with kids in mind so they are easy to clean and supposedly they will replace any parts that ever get cut or torn.

Phoebe gets in on all the action.

A bit of "friendly" wrestling (similar to friendly fire, so not always so good).

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Book Feast

There are few things I enjoy more than receiving a package of recently ordered books in the mail for the upcoming school year. I finally own the whole Little House set! I'm glad I have the "excuse" of my children to own these books and get to read them again.

"When a child is reading, he should not be teased with questions as to the meaning of what he has read, the signification of this word or that; what is annoying to older people is equally annoying to children.....

A knowledge of meanings, that is, an ample and correct vocabulary, is only arrived at in one way - by the habit of reading. A child unconsciously gets the meaning of a new word from the context, if not the first time he meets with it, then the second or the third: but he is on the look-out, and will find out for himself the sense of any expression he does not understand."

~Charlotte Mason "Home Education" Volume 1

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Jonathan's 3rd Birthday Party

We have had quite the celebration going on for Jonathan's 3rd birthday. He opened one card that he received on his birthday and got 3 one dollar bills in it. The next day Dad took him out for lunch and they went to The Big Toy Store (Toys R Us) to pick out his birthday gift (two cars and a motorcycle). Then today we had his birthday party at a fun park with three other families from church.

He chose this soccer cake for me to make. It wasn't too hard: take a small glass bowl and fill with one cup of cake batter and bake all as usual; take out 1/2 cup cool whip and mix green food coloring with the rest of an 8 oz tub and decorate cooled rectangle cake. Decorate the round cake with it set on top of a base like a similar sized tupperware container so that it's easy to pick up and place on rectangle cake. Use the white cool whip and black decorating gel or chocolate sprinkles (which I used because our Wal-Mart didn't have black gel) to make the soccer ball. You can also find this recipe on Not too hard and easy to please a 3 year old boy!

He wasn't too greedy and ambitious when opening up gifts, which I was glad for. I did have to tell him to thank people, but that is normal for a child. He received some sports stuff, lots of spider man, play-dough and clay, and a fun Tonka truck, puzzles...

We had 9 kids and 7 adults at the party. It was good to get together with people during the week when we could talk a bit. That's a lot of the reason I like birthday parties: the adult conversation while the kids are occupied!

Jonathan was very good about sharing some of his toys that he received. He is helping a little boy blow his spider-man bubbles.

And Phoebe of course, tried to get into everything!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Potty Training Take Two

Jonathan has turned 3 and we are going to attack potty training again (we've tried several times, but a little half-heartedly). This is his new super-hero underwear that he picked out. He's been wearing it over his diapers for now. Phoebe tries to put on any underwear she finds, so we make sure all previously worn underwear are properly placed in a high laundry basket. You can see above that she is working on getting her second pair on.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Kids' Creativity

Elizabeth is sporting a shirt of her own design. She cut two old shirts up and Mom sewed them together to make a whacky shirt.

The kids love to play with my velcro curlers. They make microphones and spyglasses out of them.

Here is a button that Elizabeth sewed onto Jonathan's shirt (while the shirt was on him, before I knew what she was doing). He soon took it off.