Garden Wrap-Up

 

Our homeschool garden ended up being way more successful than we ever could have hoped for! Especially considering my inexperience and the crazy mix of weather we got this Spring/Summer. We literally had jalapeños and tomatoes coming out of our ears! The kale, cilantro, and basil flourished as did our cute mini carrots. It has been so fun experiencing this for the first time alongside the kids. We had a few busts, but overall we were incredibly surprised by how well it thrived. At least we can always say we had one good year! Ha! I think the kids favorite part (aside from harvesting) was investigating the multitude of bugs that decided to camp out in our garden. Needless to say, it always lead to the question of good bugs vs. bad bugs. Logan is our resident bug expert and he takes his job very seriously!

Due to the copious amounts of veggies harvested, we decided to start juicing. Mike researched like crazy and finally settled on an Omega brand. It has been amazing! The kids have been eager to try our various concoctions and it has definitely helped with many of the problems I have digesting veggies in their whole form. Now if I could just find some affordable, ergonomic knives that don’t aggravate my EDS as much.

Now that the heat is overpowering each day, we have basically harvested what we can and started planning for the Fall. One thing is for certain, we are learning that a gardener’s job is never done! I am thankful for such a hands-on learning experience that we can do together as a family. Here is to many more adventures in gardening ahead…

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harvest of the day

harvest of the day

Logan's find of the day

Logan’s find of the day

fresh from the garden

fresh from the garden

happy helper

happy helper

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Daily Life: Pictorial

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First Day of School

This week is going to be miserably hot which marks the beginning of many more weeks of misery to come. I decided to go ahead and start school now so we can have more play time when the nicer weather hits. We will also be taking 2 weeks off when we travel to Disney in September (squee!!!) so the more we can squeeze in before the trip-o-a-lifetime, the better!

Since I decided a tad last minute to get the wheels in motion for another year of homeschooling, I spent the better part of Sunday after church getting everything organized and planned out for this week. Mike was such a huge help juggling the kids and putting together the hutch for one of the desks. We were up until midnight, but we managed to get half of the room ready for today. Good enough!

apparently watching mommy work on the school room is exhausting

apparently watching mommy work on the school room is exhausting

the half of the room that is ready!

the half of the room that is ready!

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Logan Jett is officially a Kindergartner! He literally jumped out of bed this morning and shouted “AM I KINDERGARTENER NOW??” After his hunch was confirmed, he proceeded to squeal with delight to celebrate his new rite of passage. Love that kid and his booming enthusiasm!

handwriting practice

handwriting practice

Lucas is now the big man on campus as he starts 1st grade this year. He is most excited about having his own desk thanks to the recent homeschool room makeover.

a few of the goodies Lucas and I get to work through this year

a few of the goodies Lucas and I get to work through this year

Brielle is also doing a few activities during our school time so Lucas likes to tell everyone that she is doing Pre-K and Charlotte is in preschool. Ha! I guess if you count scribbling on a paper while we do our character trait study, dismantling any project we are working on, stealing game pieces and hiding them, or running around shouting demands at any one who will listen, then I guess Charlee-girl might be doing “school” as well.

I love Brielle's little drawings of people

I love Brielle’s little drawings of people

I have to admit, it is the end of the day and I am absolutely drained, but today was SO worth it. I had such a fun morning with the kids and we were able to get our work done without any major rebellion or melt down issues. I thoroughly enjoyed our curriculum and can’t wait to dive in further! I pray that I will continue to have energy at least during the weekdays so that I can enjoy my school time with the kids and look forward to more rest during the weekends. We celebrated our first day of school with pizza delivered hot to the door (no cooking for me, yay!) and cupcakes that we made for Christina for her birthday. A yummy way to end a great day.

Swim lessons start up tomorrow so we will see how the juggling act goes. Hopefully we can finish our lessons early before we go to the pool because I know for certain we will ALL be ready for a nap by the time we get home.

Here are a few pictures from today:

Can you spot the lefty? Working on their character trait coloring sheet.

Can you spot the lefty? Working on their character trait coloring sheets.

Lucas having his first quiet time using a devotional.

Lucas having his first quiet time using a devotional.

Lucas' first entry in his Bible notebook. He wrote the first sentence and then dictated what he wanted me to write below.

Lucas’ first entry in his Bible notebook. He wrote the first sentence and then dictated what he wanted me to write below.

I know I have said this before, but I am incredibly thankful that I have the privilege and honor of homeschooling our children. It is hard, overwhelming, and at times I question my ability (and sanity!), but overall I LOVE it. I am deeply humbled that Mike entrusts me with such an enormous responsibility. I take my “job” very seriously and I can’t wait to see what our next year of adventures in homeschooling will look like! By the goodness and grace of God alone, we will make it through!

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A New Homeschooling Venture…

Just when I think I have a “plan” for next year, God seems to loosen my grip and lead my heart in a completely different direction. I ended up meeting with the new director of a brand new Classical Conversations campus that is very close to home. After speaking with her several times, researching every possible pro and con I could find on the world wide web, and praying with Mike about the future of our homeschool, we have decided to join CC for the coming year.

Instead of feeling completely overwhelmed by new material and the unknowns that lie ahead, I feel quite a sense of relief. I am excited because this campus is literally starting at the ground level: new director, new campus, and new families forming a new community. I can’t even begin to describe how stoked the boys are to start this Fall. I love that I will be in class with them and that we will be learning alongside some of our dearest friends. I am really hoping that CC ends up being a great long term fit for our family! I am also glad that the boys will be in separate classes so that they have the opportunity to develop their own personality and form friendships outside of their brotherhood. I love how close they are but I think it will be good to have a few hours one day a week where they can be stretched within themselves and develop an identity.

I am spending the next few days at a CC practicum and I already feel right at home! I am not necessarily a stickler for any one type of “method” (as evidenced by my miss mash eclectic mix of previous curriculums) but there are several things about the Classical approach that do appeal to our learning styles. Today I worked alongside other CC moms learning about the topic of Math and how God’s design is so apparent in this sometimes overwhelming subject. I have to admit I had to blow dust off of old brain cells that haven’t been used in quite some time as I worked through Algebraic equations and struggled to convert numbers into decimals, fractions, scientific notation, etc. I am 30 years old and still have a hard time appreciating the fact that someone decided to mix the alphabet with numbers. Ha!

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But as much as my brain was pushed today, I also found quite a bit of enjoyment in the process of studying Math outside the environment of being tested and stressed by the typical classroom setting.  In fact, I called Mike during my lunch break to ask him what he would think about purchasing a curriculum so that I could work through upper level math all over again to gain a better understanding of principles I never fully learned or appreciated in high school and college. Dead serious, y’all!

Trust me when I say I am just as shocked as you.

All that being said, if a program can motivate *ME* to want to re-take any form of math, then I am definitely motivated about how it can cultivate a passion for learning in my own children.

Thankfully, we will still be able to incorporate many of the other curriculum items I picked up at the homeschool book fair back in May. However, CC will save me a LOT of time and energy involved in lesson planning. Through CC, we will be studying History/Timeline, Geography, Science, Latin, Bible, Art, Music, Math facts, and basic English/Grammar rules alongside other families on our campus. We will practice our memory work the other days of the week and add in our own Math, Language Arts, and supplemental materials as needed. The best part? We get to learn most every subject together as a family unit!

I never would have assumed we would be doing anything like this, but I am excited to give it a try. Here’s to praying that the 2013-2014 school year is filled with new friendships, rich learning, and quality time spent as a family!

Watch out, Foundations! Here we come!

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Father’s Day 2013

We had a great day celebrating the incredible husband and father we are so blessed to have as the leader of our family. The kids each drew a special picture and made a craft for Mike. His “big” gift was the book Bonhoeffer which he has been asking about for a long time. I teased him about finding the time to read (let’s just say it makes quite a paperweight) but I have no doubt that at some point in the future he will, in fact, enjoy working his was through it.

wrestling with the older 3 on Father's Day morning

wrestling with the older 3 on Father’s Day morning

his "spider crown" from Lucas

his “spider crown” from Lucas

opening his basket of handmade goodies from the kids

opening his basket of handmade goodies from the kids

After breakfast and gifts, we headed in to see Mike’s parents and enjoy our first official swim of the summer. Thankfully, my stitches had completely dissolved from my cardiac implant surgery so I was able to swim with everyone! It was HOT but the pool was quite enjoyable despite the relentless sunshine. The kids would have swam all afternoon had we let them! Surprisingly, I think their favorite part of the day was getting to take a bath at Granny and Granddads. Hey, whatever gets them to take a bath, right?

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Happy Father’s Day, Mike! Thanks for making it such a great day for us all. We love you so much!

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