Monday, October 29, 2007

Drizzly Picnic

The kids and I went to St. Augustine last Monday to pick up a packet of free curriculum on archaeology from Florida Public Archaeology Network. We had planned to have a picnic and ride the carousel at a park there, so even though it was raining, we had our picnic. It was warm and we were mostly covered by the trees. I forgot the money for the carousel, but the kids didn't complain ~ they just played on the playground equipment. They also enjoyed driving around and seeing the old structures (fort, city gate, old buildings, large cross commemorating the first church service (mass) on United States soil). They kept saying, "That's so cool!" So Phoebe learned the word 'cool' that day.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Jacket Season has Arrived!

One day we had a record setting temperature of 89 degrees, and the next day we had rain and cold enough weather for jackets! So the kids are sporting their new jackets.

Nature Study

Part of science for Elizabeth's education is nature study. Charlotte Mason principles would have you be outside for up to 6 hours a day! We, however, are outside for maybe an hour a day. One day a week we concentrate on nature study or go on a nature walk. We take our nature study kit with us which includes binoculars, compass, magnifying glass, bug catcher kit, tweezers, ziplock bags, colored pencils and nature notebook. I usually just let the kids explore where they want; I might point out one or two observations to them. I try not to do this near a playground so that they won't be distracted by the toys, but will just enjoy nature. I remember playing outside a lot growing up and still remember the bugs and plants and trees I learned about just by being around them. And sometimes by being bored. Boredom can lead to great creativity.

Elizabeth finds something to draw, describe (which I write down) or tape in her nature notebook. This is a part of the Charlotte Mason method that I'm glad to adhere to because it gets me out of the house which I am sometimes loath to do.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Extra-Curricular Activities

Phoebe photogenic as always.

This is the archaeological kit Elizabeth bought for less than a dollar at Wal-Mart. She's digging into the castle (made of chalky substance) to find the treasure (I don't know what it will be). This is taking several days to accomplish which is good for teaching her perseverance.

Jonathan enjoys some of the play things at Elizabeth's tumbling class. They always offer for him to join in, but he's embarrassed to do so at this age.

Elizabeth at tumbling class. She is truly learning some things there. I've seen improvement in her rolls and splits and things. I don't know how long we'll continue this, but it's fun to see how she's actually learning new things right now.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Blitz Day

Our church did a Faith in Action Campaign culminating in Blitz Day. Blitz Day, which happened today, had the slogan "Don't go to Church, Be the Church". So we had a short 15 minute church service this morning, and then we all went out to do service projects in the community (some also happened at the church building). Phillip went with his small group to do landscaping for a safe house in town for abused women. I worked on putting together advertisement pieces for another abused women's and children's shelter (or hotline or something). Then the kids and I helped carve pumpkins with handicapped children. Some of the other projects were sorting clothing for people in Honduras, sorting furniture and household items for the women's shelters, collecting and delivering food for a local food pantry, working on a Christmas for Kids project, working in elderly people's homes and yards, and laying sod at a new children's home. We hoped to have 3,000 people involved with Blitz Day with the three campuses working together. I was glad to be involved with serving others and teaching our kids to love others more than they love themselves.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Phoebe: Messy yet Cute

Mimi said that next time Phoebe made a mess (like when she got half a loaf of bread out), to make sure I took pictures! So after seeing the bag of flour that she had in her hand and how she was sprinkling it on the side table, I gently took the bag from her and grabbed a camera. The others joined in the playing while I took pictures and then I cleaned it up. It really wasn't that bad since she could have just dumped the whole bag. She's gotten taller now, so she can reach more in the pantry!

Another Money Making Venture

Elizabeth, as you know, always has ideas of how to make money. This particular day she spent at least 3 hours making construction paper "Barbie dolls" and sets.

(Jonathan being funny.)

She made a pony set, a makeup set and several "Barbie" dolls. We went to the park that afternoon and she set up her barbie shop on a park bench. She would let everyone know that she was selling Barbie dolls for $100. She had several girls hanging around seemingly interested. One of them ran off to tell others about the great sale. One older sister did give her money, but didn't want any barbies. Phillip and I decided she needed to give it back to help her learn that we don't just take money for nothing (well, we take it when it's a gift, I guess). We left the park with a downhearted girl who had spent all her time trying to sell barbie dolls and didn't take the time to play.

There were several lessons she learned from this: She made a choice of what to do with her time and had to decide if her choice was the best. She learned a lesson in how she prices her stuff (she said in the car, "Maybe I shouldn't have asked for $100."). She learned a lesson in when to take money (only when given as a gift or for a service or product; not just because she's little and cute ~ then she would learn to beg and get by on her looks and cuteness). She cried a little that day, but once the day was over, she was just fine. She found an archaeology toy at Wal-Mart for 88 cents and she did chores at home to earn the money to buy it and it's all good now.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Busy Week

Elizabeth vacuums the stairs to earn money sometimes.

Phillip has been gone to Missouri to visit family these past four days, so we had planned a lot to keep us busy while he was gone. Tuesday we attempted to walk and ride bikes to Sonic (a little over a mile away). Elizabeth's bike broke down though (chain came off), so I had to carry the bike home while she tried to push Phoebe in the stroller. We then loaded up in the car and drove there. Jonathan spilt his slushie (thankfully we were out of the car) and Phoebe did not want to sit still, but it was fun overall. The kids have been asking to go, so I was glad to oblige this week, but I don't think we'll do it very often.

Wednesday we had Bible study in the morning and ate out with some of the ladies afterward at a Mexican restaurant. We had a little nature walk before supper and then went to the church to do prep after supper (I help prepare the materials for 1st-4th grade's Sunday program; usually Phillip has the kids while I do it, but of course, not this night). That night I prepared schooling for next week; typed it up in the portfolio, etc.

Thursday we ran a lot of errands and then hurried home to have supper and get myself ready for a ladies dessert at the church that night. It was the first event our ladies ministry put on, and was pretty exciting with a local "celebrity" chef who gave her testimony, some singing, and then lots of talking and eating goodies that the chef and volunteers had prepared. I stayed to help clean up, so it was late when I got home. Then Phillip and I talked for quite a while on the phone.

Friday we went to O2B kids (we had free passes) for the morning which is another thing the kids have been asking to do. Mom called in the afternoon and we had a good talk. Went grocery shopping at Wal-mart after that and now I'm waiting for Phillip to get home ~ Yea!!!

It's been busy which kept me preoccupied, but I am glad he'll be home soon, and that our weeks aren't normally like this! Maybe it's because I'm a homebody, but a regular supply of home downtime is a must for us!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Kid Pics

Loving on Dad.

Elizabeth trying to do a flip off the stairs. She has been running from the camera lately, so it's hard to get many pictures of her. We'll take what we can get!

Phoebe carries purses around on her arm like a cute little grandma. She loves purses, necklaces and shoes. I didn't think I would have two girly-girls!

New Soup Invention

The kids had a 48 hour sickness this past week (fevers mostly). Elizabeth badly wanted some soup, but not chicken soup. She wanted a Spaghettios-type soup. So she boiled some noodles in the microwave; made a sauce of ketchup, taco sauce and onion powder; then mixed the sauce with the noodles and water. I tasted it, and it actually tasted good! Phoebe also enjoyed some noodles.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Funny Stories

Elizabeth was at tumbling yesterday, and I and the other two yea-hoos were here at home. I was reading emails and kept hearing a plastic bag crinkling. I figured Phoebe was getting into a ziplock bag of toys, so didn't check it out. Well, once I finished reading and looked up from the computer, I saw that Phoebe had laid out half a loaf of sliced bread on the couch and piled up on her high chair tray. Each piece had a nibble or hole poked through. I was a little irritated, so I didn't take a picture, but it was pretty funny once it was cleaned up!

Jonathan has been calling us "Darlin". He'll say "Come on, darlin!" Except he says "Darwin".

Elizabeth is trying to make money today by styling hair for 50 cents. She has a chair set up in the alcove in front of our house with a 50 cent sign on it. She has her hairstyle box sitting on Phoebe's stroller, and anytime a car passes she yells, "Who wants their hair done for 50 cents?!" Of course, it's raining out there, and no one can hear her or looks her way. Mom was her first (and I'm sure her only) customer. How can you resist such innovation?