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Week 11 // December 31 – January 6

December 31, 2018 – January 6, 2019

Monday, December 31, 2018 — We had a wonderful week off celebrating Christmas, but now we are back in the swing of things! Layla and Emma have taken it upon themselves the last two mornings to make toast with butter for everyone. I augment with the eggs! They are the best!

We had a wonderful circle time on the carpet this morning talking about our Godly Character traits, reading from the Bible, and praying.

After that we read two chapters out of “Peter Pan.” I excused the girls so Braydon and I could work on Social Studies and Math. Then we colored happy birthday cards for Michael because his birthday is on Thursday.

After lunch the four oldest kiddos jumped in puddles on the deck. They were soaked! They had a bath with a bath bomb.

Before bed we had a family movie and prayer time. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019 — Happy New Year! We started the day off with circle time, just the same as yesterday. Then Braydon completed eight pages in his PACE! He is truly reading so well these days.

We read “The Rainbow Fish,” before making our own rainbow fish by painting with celery! We did a letter “F” do-a-dot page as well. F is for Fish.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019 — We did not do school work today. We made Michael’s cake together, though!

Thursday, January 3, 2019 — We had circle time. Then Braydon did several PACE pages. We did a lot of cleaning today.

We had my mom, dad, and sisters over for Michael’s Birthday.

Friday, January 4, 2019 — We had circle time and also did several more PACE pages. Braydon is nearly done with his social studies 1001 PACE. Sorry I have been out of habit of taking pictures. I am trying to do better!

We went grocery shopping, fed the kids, and had a family movie night. Michael and I had a delicious dinner together after the kids went to bed. We love our date nights from home.

Saturday, January 5, 2019 — We cleaned all morning for the Christmas Party. I made several large portions of baked ziti — one was red sauce with ground beef and the other was a broccoli, chicken Alfredo. I also made garlic bread, salad, and sweet tea. It was a good time hosting! We exchanged gifts and also had Michael and Renee’s Birthday.

Sunday, January 6, 2019 — Today my sister, Ryle, Myself, and my mother-in-law deep cleaned my sister-in-laws house top to bottom before she gets home from the hospital. Michael took the kids to my parents house for the day. When we got home we watched a family movie.

Happy Homeschoolings, Friends!

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Week 10 // December 17 – 23

December 17 – 23

Monday, December 17, 2018 – Good morning! This morning we had cinnamon rolls for breakfast. We eased into the morning with lots of Christmas themed color-by-numbers which was a free printable off Pinterest. Braydon did three pages in English 1001 PACE and four pages in his Math 1006 PACE. Then we made a mess in the kitchen with glue, popsicle sticks, and glitter! These will be addition ornaments on the tree once they dry.

Over lunch I read to the children out of “The Family Under the Bridge.” Then we played outside for literally three and half hours. The day was clear and sunshine-y. It was oddly warm for the middle of December. While the children played I cleaned the dining room, the kitchen, made cookies, and dinner (stuffed acorn squash for the grown ups and chicken nuggets and fruit for the kids).

After that we had bath time with another one of those kid’s bath bombs that turn the water a different color. This time it turned the water blue and then free! Such a blast! I’m starting to think we may need a bigger bathtub though…

After bath we ate dinner and then watched “Mickey’s Twice Upon A Christmas” movie. We’ve seen it several times before, but everyone wanted to watch it again. It’s a beloved favorite!

We cleaned the kitchen again, sorted the kids toys into bins and cleaned their room of random things and trash. I worked on my computer for a few hours while Michael played with the kids. He read to them and prayed with them before bed.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018 – Today is a city day and lots of errands, too. Braydon finished his English 1001 PACE by doing the last four pages. And we also did another page in Math 1006 PACE. I did a truck load of dishes and folded two loads of laundry. While I was folding laundry I drilled Braydon on his math. How’s that for multi-tasking! #homeschoollife

We had about five hours in the car riding into Atlanta and back. We split the time up between a movie called, “Zootopia”, an audio book of an old dragon folktale, and Christmas music. After that we went grocery shopping for the week. At home we had a simple grilled cheese dinner because we were all so tired. Michael took Layla out on a mini date to drop some old broken flatscreen TV’s off to dispose of them properly. They got a little Chick-Fil-A treat, too. Before they left I said, “You’re the standard of the man she will marry one day, so treat her like a princess.” He said, “Whoa! No pressure!” But he smiled big, as if to say, “I’ve got this.”

Braydon played with his LEGO’s this evening. He put the train tracks around the train station and made a long train to ride the rails. So many vroom and toot toot and wa-bam sounds as he played! Haha!

I also set Elfie up. This elf has been working, but I realized I haven’t shared all the treats she’s left for us. Here she is with some candy canes. So simple (the whole pack of candy canes was .99), but such a delightful surprise! We’ll put the rest of the candy canes on the tree because we won’t eat them all!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018 — Today was crazy! We had devotions and the children helped Dad and I count all the money in our coin jar! We have over $100 in coins! It was fun teaching everyone the different cents!

The kids enjoyed the treat Elfie left them. They put the extras on the tree.

After that we packed up and had breakfast at Chick-Fil-A. We were kinda late for breakfast so we got what was leftover. We got a 6 ct mini, two chicken biscuits, one sausage biscuit, hash browns, and two butter biscuits for $7!!! We thanked the woman there for such a wonderful blessing! Now that our family has grown so much it can be $40 or more to feed everyone at fast food. It’s no problem, we have budgeted in our eating out budget for our growing tribe, but it’s still a huge blessing when we can go less expensive. The kids played in the play place at Chick-Fil-A for about half an hour.

Next we went to my hair appointment. It lasted 4 hours! Michael kept all five kids in the car. They put down the seats and brought pillows and blankets. They watched movies, ate snacks, read books, and colored pictures while they waited for me. Towards the end they all came into the salon to bring me Baby Ryle to nurse. I’m officially a blonde!

When we got home it was the dinner hour. I made a Whole30 dinner for Mike and I and the kids some macaroni and cheese. Then I made homemade chocolate chip cookies and homemade cut out sugar cookies. Cleaning the kitchen was intense after all that baking. I’m thankful for a husband who put the kids to bed while I finished up.

Thursday, December 20, 2019 —  We had planned to have a cookie decorating party with the Stancil’s, but Braydon was complaining of an ear ache. I slathered him up with garlic infused coconut oil and he was better an hour later. We did four pages of PACE work when he felt better.

We also decided to decorate the cookies. We did it very simply with just some frosting and sprinkles. There was several more that I packaged up for one of Michael’s clients. I feel so happy to have found a sugar cookie recipe that holds the cut-out shapes!

We had a wonderful circle time on a blanket on the floor. Each of the kids got a Godly character card that I printed and glued on colorful card stock. We had Truthfulness, Sincerity, and Obedience. We talked about each characteristic and read the scripture reference. Then we did our phonics flash card drill. I’m always so pleasantly surprised by how little Emma who is only three years old picks up so much! We read from our read aloud, “The Family Under the Bridge.” There was also some insane LEGO play this morning.

It’s been so dark, rainy, and cold, so after lunch I had Braydon, Layla, and Emma lay down in their beds for a nap. We usually don’t do naps for the older three, but the weather and sickness and general hustle and bustle of the holidays has hit us hard. I explained that our bodies need extra rest and healthy fresh foods. I got some beautiful one on one time with Raya while they napped. We scribbled on paper together and practiced happy and sad faces. We traced our hands and pretended to feed baby dolls with play bottles. We also took toys out and put them back in a box several times.

After a yummy mashed potato, steamed broccoli, corn casserole, and BBQ Chicken dinner, Braydon and I sat down and read for over an hour. We read book 1 and half of book 2 in the Magic Treehouse Series! He loved it!

Before bed we watched the 1982 version of “The Snowman” and had popcorn. I watched this film every Christmas as a kid and we found it on YouTube so I could share it with my kids! It’s a film with no words, just music, about a boy who makes a snowman that comes to life.

Friday, December 21, 2018 — Michael made the kids pancakes this morning! He made us some fried eggs and we enjoyed a rather heavenly breakfast around the table as a family this morning.

Braydon played with LEGO’s after breakfast and made a really cool robot. He decided he needed to make his very own LEGO directions so he would never forget how to build his LEGO robot. It’s hard to see in the picture but he did it just like the real LEGO directions you get with a set. He drew out what the piece looks like and put 2x’s because you need two of those pieces for the next step. He is so smart and creative.

Braydon did two pages in his Social Studies 1001 PACE and three in his Math 1006 PACE. While we worked together we listened to classical music. The girls sorted their crayons by color.

After this we made a Rice Krispie treat holiday house box kit that Elfie brought for us. We melted butter and marshmallows, put the krispies in, sprayer the house molds, put the treats inside and then decorated with icing and candies.

Lunch was leftovers and leftovers make my heart so happy because easy prep and easy clean up! We listened to the remaining few chapter of the Magic Treehouse book 2 “The Knight at Dawn”. Then we started book 3, “Mummies in the Morning” and we read almost the whole thing. We read nine chapters and there are only ten chapters in the whole book!

Michael took Braydon to Home Depot to get painting supplies for a home improvement project of painting our interior doors. Then each of the children went out with dad in 15 minute increments as he painted the doors in the garage. We went through the rotation many times. Inside we watched some YouTube videos and made dinner.

Saturday, December 22, 2018 — Today we did PACE work, even though it’s Saturday. We did two pages in English and one in Math. I can tell Braydon’s reading has gotten better in this last week alone.

We wiped down the rest of the doors for Michael to continue painting. I love that they are so interested in home projects and eager to help.

Next we listened and followed along to Magic Treehouse books. We finished number 3, “Mummies in the Morning” and we read through number 4 in one sitting. The fourth one was, “Pirates Past Noon.” Braydon asked if I could please get more. Of course I said YES! Essentially, we read through the four Magic Treehouse books in just three days! It’s so encouraging to watch my son love literature. I know this is just the start into loving books for life!

“There’s no such thing as a kid who hates reading. There are kids who love reading, and kids who are reading the wrong books.” James Patterson

My sister, Mary Jo, got a gingerbread house kit and had fun putting it together with the children. We made hot chocolate and watched a movie at my parents house called, “Smallfoot.”

Sunday, December 23, 2018 — We had church at my parents house watching Time Square Church’s Christmas Play called “Where Hope Lives.” We enjoyed it so much!!! We were all a teary eyed mess!

Then we watched football all day long. I snuck away to do some wrapping… Christmas is SO soon!

We will be taking off next week for Christmas break. Happy Homeschooling!

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Week 9 // December 10 – 16

December 10 – 16

“Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.” Charlotte Mason

Monday, December 10, 2018 — This morning Lindsay and I, with all the children, went to my friend, Abby’s home for a Christmas Mug Exchange Party. The majority of the other women there were homeschool moms! All the children played wonderfully together and we enjoyed breakfast. I made banana muffins and brought donuts to the spread of breakfast foods.

When we got home we had lunch and then went to my parents house to purge their home! We cleaned out there pantry room, scrubbed, and sorted things. Braydon helped clean and sort while the girls watched a movie. We got take-out for dinner from a BBQ restaurant.

I read Braydon, Layla, and Emma a beautiful Christmas book before bed and then we read the story of Jesus’ birth out of our Bible book. It was a very sweet and anointed time.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 — I had my sweet friend, Callie, over for coffee. We talked for hours while the children played around us. Braydon did a few pages in English but I didn’t get a picture.

Braydon colored these pictures unprompted and left me space to write his exact words. I was astounded by the fact that my 6 year old knows correct Christina theology! This! This right here is why I homeschool. I want my children to know Christ!!!

We went grocery shopping for the week which is always a huge adventure. Then we went next door to continue the work we started yesterday on Mom and Dad’s house. We sorted all the cabinets and dishwear. It was so exhausting and emotions ran hot tonight! Mom and dad made us a beautiful Chicken Marsala dinner to say thank you.

Michael read and prayed for the kids before bed.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 — Braydon and I woke up early and enjoyed some special one on one time. First we had hot coco (coffee for me) and eggs for breakfast. After that we moved to the couch and read a chapter of “The Family Under the Bridge” by the twinkling of the Christmas tree lights. Braydon said he wanted to adopt the three kids from the book who don’t have a home! He is so sweet!

We did a Christmas Mickey coloring page. We also “decorated” a Christmas Tree print out with star stickers. Braydon completed four pages in Math and four pages in English! We made homemade pizza for lunch that the children gobbled up!

In the afternoon we listened to the best Christmas music and danced and sang together! We also played outside on the deck with bikes and balls! While they played, I baked cookies for our cookie decorating party tomorrow!

Thursday, December 13, 2018 — ChRiStMaS CoOkIe DeCoRaTiNg PaRtY with Callie and Auntie Lindsay!!! Callie gave the kids their Christmas presents, too! She hit it out of the park with fantastic toys for the kids! She is the sweetest! I was surprised the children only decorated a cookie each before feeding done with this project… I think they were excited about the gifts Aunt Callie brought. Anyways, the adults kept on decorating while the children played! Ha-ha!

After the party, there was lots of clean up and dishes. We watched and listened to lots of broadway songs inspired by Auntie Lindsay who spent the day with us. When she left I let the children play for a couple hours out on the deck. They had macaroni and cheese for dinner, a bubbly bath, and the softest fleece pajamas to wear after! We watched a polar bear documentary before bed. Michael had a function for work that had him home right when the children were ready to sleep. He read them a story and prayed with them. Then we enjoyed a Chick-Fil-A treat by ourselves and watched a show!

Friday, December 14, 2018 — Everyone woke up with tummy aches this morning which we surely gave to ourselves from yesterday’s sugar cookie party. Because we were feeling so groggy we had a movie day. We watched Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas. We played a lot and spent time snuggling in bed.

Saturday, December 15, 2018 — Good morning! We brought the whole family into the bank this morning so I could get a credit card to begin building my currently non-existent credit! They all behaved like little angels!!!

After that we went to Target and spent a lot of time there shopping for our nieces and nephews. We also got gift basket stuff for some of my best girlfriends.

When we got home I made everyone lunch. My sweet hubby did the dishes so I could slip away and begin the Christmas wrapping. While I was in my office Emma cut some of her hair!!! I was so upset! She cut it right on the top of her head so there’s this random chunk sticking up.

Our Nephew Skylan came over for a couple hours today. Michael, Skylan, and the three oldest spent a long time outside throwing the football and running around.

We had dinner at my parents and then a Jack Frost movie before bed.

Sunday, December 16, 2018 — It was a beautiful morning spent having home church at my parent’s home. We tuned into the service at Time Square Church with Pastor Carter Conlon. We dressed for church and stood during worship. I printed the kids out two Bible coloring pages and gave them each a baggie full of stickers to keep them entertained.

When church was over I went back home to make a Zuppa Toscana Soup. Emma helped me pour all the ingredients in. We also made marshmallow treats.

It was the Steelers (Michael’s team) vrs. the Patriots (my family’s team) today. Steelers won! During the game Michael was holding Ryle and they just stared and smiled at each other for full minutes on end. It was heart-melting!

My mom made lots of LEGO sets with Braydon today and she did a nativity craft with the girls. Raya and I colored at home.

That’s a wrap! This was a very slow week school-wise, but the holidays make things challenging. I know that homeschooling evens itself out because there are super productive days coming in the new year. We had lots of experienced this week and lots of social outings which is important too. Thank you Lord for another great week.

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Week 8 // December 3 – 9

December 3 – 9

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

Monday, December 3, 2018 — Two months ago I decided to ditch our curriculum’s heavy work load and it has been a wild ride. We are officially “behind” in our curriculum now, but we are ahead in so many more ways. I am confident in this way of teaching and learning. I have seen first hand the hours they are reclaiming for play, building, and imagination. It has made all the difference in life overall.

The children played all morning. Braydon strung up my MobyWrap in between the two bunk beds and the entire morning was spent swinging on their makeshift swing. They had so much fun and the laughter was heard throughout the whole house.

I read with Braydon and Emma the second chapter in our read aloud. I also drilled Layla and Emma on their phonics flash cards. Then Braydon complained of a headache and went into my bedroom to sleep for a few hours. I’m grateful to have this homeschool diary to log when he’s getting these headaches because they are beginning to worry me. I am speaking life and perfect health over him!

In the evening we enjoyed dinner, watched a little show on Netflix and then did this snowman craft. It was a foam kit with stickers on the back so it was mess free— well, besides all the little sticker backings that ended up everywhere!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018 — It’s been a great morning to get school work done. We did our flash card drills, read a chapter in “The Family Under the Bridge”, glued our letter “E” elf craft together, and Braydon did two pages in English and two pages in math.

Auntie Lindsay was here today and with her help I did the grocery shopping for the week. After that, I introduced Elfie! She made these cookies for the children and left a sweet message. They know she is make-believe but we have lots of fun pretending she comes alive at night to plan surprises.

We had a wonderful evening with Auntie Lindsay. We had grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner. Then we watched the new Power Rangers movie.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 — Good morning! I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off this morning! I feel pulled in so many different directions.

Elfie had hot chocolate with the kids this morning.

I made an incredible real food casserole for lunch. It was spaghetti squash, broccoli, bacon, coconut milk, garlic, salt, and pepper.

I asked the kids to color some paper ornaments I printed out that have the names of God on them. I printed out many that were in color, too. Then I made tissue paper tassels and tied up the bulbs in between those to make a festive holiday garland. We were able to talk a lot on the different names of God and what they mean to reflect God’s many characteristics.

Braydon completed two pages each in Math and English.

In the evening, Lindsay watched the four oldest so Michael and I could buy a new laptop at the Mall of Georgia’s Apple Store. This laptop is a work laptop since I am the new Social Media Director with Michael and my mom’s company, Premier Care Management of Georgia.

Thursday, December 6, 2018 — Good morning! Braydon did three pages in math today, but one was a coloring page. We’ll finish this PACE tomorrow and receive another star on his chart!

After this we spent the whole day with my good friend Abby and her two homeschooled boys. They played for hours, we ate a lunch of chicken nuggets and macaroni, and did a slime making project!

When they left it was already time to make dinner. We had loaded baked potato soup with butter rolls. Then we watched a space documentary before bed!

Friday, December 7, 2018 — Braydon finished his Math PACE! He got a 100% on his test. This PACE taught subtraction up to five.

Then we went to Magical Nights of lights. We drove through the roads with their light displays. We went ice skating. We went on kiddie rides and the Ferris Wheel. We had hot chocolate. It was such a blast!

Saturday, December 8th, 2018 — The four oldest children stayed at the house with Nana Kathy while Michael, myself, and baby Ryle went to the company Christmas Party. It was a long day!

Sunday, December 9, 2018 — We got home so late last night and the children were still awake, too, so this morning we all slept in late. We did some cleaning and our devotions before heading next door for football. Both our teams had a loss today. Dad made a beef stew from leftover prime rib meat, and the children played in Aunties room and watched movies on the tablet.

This week went by really fast! I should probably start wrapping some Christmas presents… it will be here before we know it.

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Week 7 // November 26 – December 2

November 26 – December 2

“You have to be a bit of a rebel with an independent spirit to homeschool.”

I really believe in this quote. With all my flaws and all the things I would want to change about myself, I am grateful my personality has always been to seek truth and question everything. They used to describe me as a “free spirit” in my teenage years because I did what I wanted. With the power and leading of the Holy Spirit, I am not afraid to stand outside of the pack, to think outside of the box, and to raise my children boldly. I praise God for the path He has us on. I praise Him for His guidance and goodness. I praise Him for the plan He has for each of my children. God is incredibly kind and merciful to me.

Monday, November 26, 2018 — Good morning and happy Monday. This morning Michael and my dad continued working on the garage wall and shelving. Braydon bundled up and spent most of the day outside with them learning hands on about construction. I asked Michael to really explain things and teach him so it could count as part of his homeschooling. Homeschool is really just learning through life all the time and in every situation.

The girls and I made an entire box of pancake mix for the freezer. I am so happy to tuck away easy food for when I need it. We also made a homemade cabbage soup.

Nana Kathy gave us a bath bomb on Saturday that turns the water purple! It was a fun gift that the kids really loved. They played for a long time in there. Layla got out early, but she played for a while too.

We had circle time where I drilled the kids on their letter flash cards. We read a couple Psalms out of the Bible and we also read chapter one of our new read aloud, “The Family Under the Bridge.” Braydon did three pages in English and one in math. He also played with his stem toy that actually works when you flip the switch. The gears all move when they’re connecting.

In the evening the girls played dress up with a bunch of clothes my sister-in-law gave to us. They loved getting the “new to them” clothing and I praised God for His awesome provision.

Braydon played with a lego thingamajig that he found in the garage. He seriously gets so obsorbed in these projects. He spent at least an hour tinkering with it before we watched a family movie about a boy who got lost in space.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 — We already dug into the frozen pancakes from yesterday! They won’t last long! We did PACE work first thing this morning because I had a hair appointment mid-day. He did four pages of English and three pages in math.

My hair appointment ended up taking six hours! My mom, sister, baby Ryle, and Layla went with me. We had dinner at Outback Steakhouse before heading home. Michael held down the fort and made the kids breakfast for dinner at home.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 — What a weird day. Lots of cleaning in preparation for Layla’s birthday Party on Friday. I made two flavors of ice cream cake in pie pans. And the kids pretty much played all day long. We listened to classical music and hymnals, too. Here is Braydon building a launch pad for his rocket. They learn through play wonderfully.

We ended the evening with a yummy homemade meatloaf and mashed potato dinner. Very little is needed for a happy life.

Thursday, November 29, 2018 — So. Much. Cleaning!!! I wiped down the walls that had black marker written everywhere. There is drawing on every wall in my house!!! It’s so annoying!!!

Braydon did two pages in Math, but that’s it because I’m full on party-mode today.

Also, here’s a picture of my hair from the other day in case you wanted to see it finished.

Friday, November 30, 2018 — I spent the whole day making homemade pizza dough, cupcakes, meat and cheese platters, taco pinwheels, and dips. I also cleaned a ton! I placed table clothes, wrapped presents, filled the piñata, hung so many decorations… and then we had a party! Happy Birthday, Layla! I hope you know how much your dad and I love you!!!

I vlogged this day here: https://youtu.be/q6PSxF_aImg

Saturday, December 1, 2018 — Hello! Today is so rainy and we’ve heard lots of load rumbling thunder above our house. The whole family slept in this morning — even Raya and Ryle — because we partied into the night last night at Layla’s 5th Birthday party. We ate through so more frozen pancakes. When I looked at Layla at breakfast I found her cutting the hair off her hair-do doll!!! *Gasp!

Michael worked in the garage with my dad for several hours. I took a peak inside and it looked great! They are organizing everything! They made shelves of solid wood and they got rid of so much junk! Dad has dreams to make a video studio out there! My dad’s an ENFP, so who knows if it will actually happen. Us ENFP’s are strong on the start up of projects and lack the follow through. Anyways, I scored some great children’s books out of the garage that I can’t wait to read with the kids!

I made some really yummy deviled eggs that we brought next door in the evening. Mom made meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Lindsay made cookies with the girls. We all talked around the table about social media and other interesting topics. Then we went to bed.

Sunday, December 2, 2018 — Today we had church at my parents house. We gathered around the living room and tuned into Time Square Church. We asked the children to color on the living room floor while we listened to the message. All the kids got showered and dressed up this morning. I want to make sure we do that every Sunday morning. We have decided not to return to Cornerstone because we disagree with much of the Pastor’s theology.

We went to visit a house afterwards that had a beautiful downstairs living space for our family. We’d love continue living communally and this house was built for it. Who knows what will come of touring homes on the market…

After that we rushed to the Nutcracker Ballet! Marmi treats us to the Nutcracker every year around the holidays. This year we met my cousin Melissa and her daughter Reya, too. From our family it was my mom, my sister, Layla, Emma, and Ryle. It was a beautiful preformance and the girls did great sitting in their seats (and Auntie and Reya’s laps). I nursed Ryle in my new nursing dress! After the Nutcracker, we had dinner at Carrabas. 

When we got home I was happy to see Michael was doing such a wonderful job watching Raya and Braydon by himeself. Him and my dad made BBQ for dinner and everyone was in good spirits. We watched football until an 8pm bedtime!

It was a really wonderful week this week! As I reflect on all that has happened, I realize we took a very slow week school-wise. I’d like to hit it hard this next week. Also, I want to incorporate some Christmas crafts. I will look tonight on Pinterest for some fun ideas! Can you believe it’s already December? It will be Christmas soon!

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Week 6 // November 19 – 25

November 19 – 23

“I homeschool my children, not to prepare them for tests, but to prepare them for life.”

Monday, November 19, 2018 — Good morning! It is Thanksgiving week! Maybe the excitement of the week has created a get-it-done attitude! We woke up, ate breakfast, and immediately began work sheets. Over breakfast I told the children the story of The Mayflower and the first thanksgiving. We cleaned up breakfast and went right into coloring a Pilgrim’s and Indian’s coloring page with a scripture verse that reads, “Give thanks to Him, and praise His name.” Psalm 100:4 These coloring pages are the covers of their thanksgiving workbooks I printed out yesterday. All the printables we will do this week are free offline and found on Pinterest. This is proof that anyone can homeschool with a printer and the knowledge of history yourself (I told them the story over breakfast from what I know) which you can learn online by reading. The library is also a fantastic resource, but we have not been in a season to really reap those benefits with a newborn, one car, the cold, and recent sickness.

We also read the story of Naaman in the Bible who was healed from leprosy by dipping into the Jordan River seven times. Braydon colored a picture of Naaman coming up from the water the seventh time healed! He also wrote his uppercase and lowercase letters in order. 

The next part of the morning was spent listening to classical music on my computer. The children pretended to have school time with their stuffed animals and baby dolls. I nursed the baby and watched them. Braydon was doing a word study and taught his stuffed animals the definition of soggy, infirmity, and hasty. I corrected him on the definition of hasty and he laughed and said, “MoOoOm, I know that!” He went on to teach about the Earth, planets, and islands.  The girls played with their baby dolls by taking Ryle’s real diapers and changing poopy baby doll diapers.

In the afternoon we colored a unicorn color-by-number that was a huge hit! Layla asked if I could print her out more! We drew our favorite Thanksgiving foods on paper. We also did some more thanksgiving related printouts. Then we played several rounds of Uno. All three older kids really grasp the concept of the game! It was a joy playing with them! I read several Bible stories to everyone before bed and Michael prayed a beautiful prayer. Then we all went to bed. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018 — Hello! This morning Braydon finished his last page in Word Building and received a star on his chart. This means no more Word Building PACEs! Tomorrow we’ll move on to English! He also completed 5 pages in Math and we finished the last chapter of “The Littles”. It feels like such an accomplished day because of all the finishing that has been done! Today I ordered a new chapter book entitled, “The Family Under the Bridge” which is a beloved classic for children. I haven’t read it, but it has been recommended by Sonlight’s read aloud list for 1st grade. We will start that read aloud next week!

We also did several more Thanksgiving related pages and I finally stapled them together to make their little Thanksgiving books. We did coloring pages, a maze, a first letter recognition and writing, a what is different, and a patterns page. We only have two pages left to do in our book, which we will do tomorrow. It’s hard to photograph it all, but wow! what fun we had today!

The remainder of the day was spent cleaning up and preparing for a birthday party that night. We painted our nails, wrapped a present, and got dressed appropriately for lots of outside play. It was Abby and Judah’s conjoined party — there was BBQ and lots of laughs. The kids played outside with nerf guns and scooters. Michael ended up manning the grill! It was fun catching up with a bunch of other homeschool moms at the party. When we got home it was late. We bathed the kids and put them right into bed. Michael and I stayed up to watch a movie together called “Snowden”.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018 — Good morning! Braydon helped me make homemade pizza dough early this morning. He put in the flour, salt, and spices. He also worked the KitchenAid mixer. We used the dough to make a pepperoni pizza and a BBQ chicken pizza for dinner.

The whole morning was spent coloring pictures and doing more color-by-number sheets. Braydon did 5 pages in his English 1001 PACE. He is so smart! He had to listen to the beginning sound of word pictures and circle the letter it belonged to. The kids also ate their cupcakes from last nights party.

In the afternoon I had all three big kids help me make the pumpkin pies for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving dinner. They opened cans with can openers and measured out spices and sugar. My house smelled amazing all day. Michael came home with two more boxes of tree lights, so we finished decorating the Christmas tree, too. It really felt like the holidays today.

We finished our Thanksgiving booklets today! Our last page was a cut and glue activity finishing patterns. It was a really fun 10 page booklet. I’m thinking I may do one for every holiday. Here is a picture of some of the work we did today.

After dinner Michael played ball outside with the big kids to run off some energy. Then, we walked down the street to visit with my great aunt and uncle. It was Aunt Roberta’s 86th birthday. My mom brought cake, donuts, and sweet potato pie to celebrate. My children pretty much went crazy in their shoebox sized living room without any toys or activities to engage them. There’s also been A LOT of sweets and treats this week, but hey, it is Thanksgiving afterall and they are just kids. I’ll have to remember to bring some crayons and paper next time. Anyway, I cannot wait for tomorrow! It’s going to be a great Thanksgiving 2018.

Thursday, November 22, 2018 — HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Today was so jam-packed that I don’t even know where to start! The kids went over to my parents house long before I did. I made the corn casserole, green bean casserole, and heated up the bread and rolls in the oven at our house before we could go over.

The menu this year was beautifully done. We had turkey, ham, pineapple delight, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, corn casserole, soft rolls, and French bread. For dessert there was coffee, pumpkin pie, banana delight, and cheesecake bars! Yum!

We spent the rest of the day talking, laughing, playing with Joshua’s dog, Blue, and playing games! I am so thankful! Also, Blue is a pure bred German Shepherd which is my dream dog!!!

Friday, November 23, 2018 — Today was the first day I ever used grocery delivery. I made my list through an app and had a personal shopper grab my things and then she delivered it to my front door!

The oldest three kids worked in the garage for a large portion of the day sorting out junk to throw away and sell. Our garage looks like a hoarders paradise. It’s bad, y’all.

I made a huge banana pudding for Michael’s Family’s Thanksgiving tomorrow. It filled a turkey roaster pan! The children helped me and also snuck some Nilla Wafers for eating! Then we watched some YouTube.

In the evening my mom watched the oldest four so Michael and I could grab a coffee. We walked around Target and got some things. Then we picked up Chinese food for everyone to eat when we got home. I love talking with my mom and dad around the table. We talked into the night!

Saturday, November 24, 2018 — Michael worked with my dad in the garage all morning while I prepared a quadrupled recipe of corn casserole for our second Thanksgiving. Braydon and Emma alternated pouring in cans of corn and Jiffy packs. I packed the diaper bag and got all the children dressed and ready to go.

We spent a wonderful time with Michael’s family. There was ham, brisket, rolls, green bean casserole, taco casserole, scalloped potatoes, and spinach salad! Yum! My mother in law got the kids gifts. There was playdough, puzzles, and board games. Everyone loved the banana pudding we made!

When we got home we spent the rest of the night at my parents house before falling into bed that evening with full bellies and even fuller hearts.

Sunday, November 25, 2018 — We watched two sermons this morning for church! One was from Carter Conlon entitled “Run For Your Life” out of Times Square Church. It was so incredible! The other sermon was more of a testimony from a man named Mike Evans who was speaking as a guest at Free Chapel. It was fun to enjoy breakfast together and then have church in my parents living room!

The rest of the day was spent watching football. I brought over all the ingredients to make a Zuppa Toscana Soup that everyone really enjoyed. Layla made banana muffins with Auntie Lindsay. And the children also drew and painted with Marmi.

In the evening, I did lots of chores around my house to get ready for the week. It was a really wonderful week. Thank you Lord for all your faithfulness, goodness, provision, and guidance. To You be the glory forever. Amen.

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Week 5 // November 12 – 18

November 12 – 16

Monday, November 12, 2018 — This morning Michael and I had a meeting with a realtor at a coffee shop. Lindsay watched the kids for us so we could go without them. It was a cold and rainy day. It felt really lovely to get a big ole cuppa of vanilla chia latte. Michael dropped me off at home afterwards and did the grocery shopping for the week.

Here is Braydon’s PACE work in math and word building.

We also read a chapter of “The Littles”. I really want to be more disciplined to read a chapter aloud every school day. I want to follow Sonlight curriculum’s reading list for 1st grade which includes “The Littles” among many other fantastic reads.

We set up the toy nativity today and talked about the true meaning of Christmas and why we celebrate. They loved playing with the nativity! I can’t wait to begin decorating the house for Christmas!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 — Layla turns five years old today! We aren’t celebrating until this weekend, but we all wished her a happy birthday! It’s so sad that we all woke up so sick this morning. I set the kids up with a movie on the couch so I could do some cleaning. Everyone was coughing and sniffling!

We rebounded a bit later by making some banana muffins and banana donuts together.

In the evening, after a BBQ Chicken diner, we all loaded up in the car to see a house that was literally 5 minutes away. We are thinking of putting an offer on the home! We had vanilla cake for Layla’s birthday when we got back and then we all went to bed.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 — I woke up very early and decided since I was up I might as well be useful. I scrubbed the whole kitchen floor on my hands and knees, worked out, showered, made breakfast, and when Brady woke up I made him breakfast and schooled him! Braydon finished his 1004 Math PACE and got a star on his chart. We also read aloud a wondeful story of Jesus’ life and he colored a corresponding coloring page. Then we read a chapter of “The Littles”. With Layla, I drilled her on her phonetic sounds flash cards and after over a month of neglecting them, she still remembered them all.

Craft time was uppercase and lowercase letter “D” do-a-dot pages and a paint hand print dinosaur!

After that we made chocolate donuts! This is my first real donut recipe and it was “just okay.”

Thursday, November 15, 2018 — We spend the entire day in the car going into Atlanta, running company errands, picking up Christmas gifts, shopping for clothes, getting chick-fil-a for lunch, and probably other things I can’t remember. It was a long day and was broken up by nursing sessions in the car. When we got home we were exhausted — Michael worked late in the office and then went to my dad’s Men’s meeting — I fed the kids nachos for dinner, gave them a bath, and put them to bed. It was a little crazy and I would have loved to have Michael’s help! Whew! Solo parenting is hard work!

Friday, November 16, 2018 — Braydon started Math PACE 1005 this morning and learned a new concept of subtraction! We played with LEGO’s as math manipulatives and he grasped the concept immediately.

Anyone else think their own kid is a genius? Nope, just me? Okay. In Word Building Braydon read this page to me. Then he answered and wrote out the answers to the questions.

My dad, mom, and sister came over with pie and ice cream for a fun treat. We went shopping for the week and got most of the things needed for thanksgiving. I am making several side items for my family’s thanksgiving as well as Michael’s family’s thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 17, 2018 — Ryle got sick. He’s got a nasty cough and congestion. He is still nursing well which I’m so thankful for!

This morning we went to my parents house for breakfast. My mom made scones! My dad made eggs Benedict! It was fun just chatting over a meal.

After that we started putting up the Christmas tree, but we had to stop half way up the tree with lights because we need more lights. Ha-ha!

Braydon played with a new STEM toy. It was making a robot and he had to follow the instuctuons. I didn’t help him with anything! He made the robot all by himself!!! Wow!

Nothing else too noteable today. We kinda just hung out.

Sunday, November 18, 2018 — We watched a powerful sermon by Sammy Rodriguez online since we are all still hacking away with congestion and coughing. The cough is so fierce it sounds like we’re a family of heavy smokers.

We spent the whole day at my parents house. I can’t even begin to write how much extra enrichments the children had. Just a few off the top of my head… Braydon played with STEM manipulatives, the girls made gem bead necklaces, they all painted on the back porch, and helped Marmi cook.

My cousin Tim and his wife, Melissa dropped by and hung out for a bit. Then they rode away on a motorcycle which was really cool to see!

I printed out lots of free Thanksgiving work sheets from online for next week. I can’t believe it’s already time for Thanksgiving! Praise The Lord for another awesome week. His faithfulness is evident!

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Week 4 // November 4 – 11

November 5 – 11

“Once upon a time all children were homeschooled.”

Monday, November 5, 2018— Good morning! This is the day where Michael has off, except he’s had to handle business issues several times throughout the day. I know it goes hand in hand with owning a business; you literally can’t disappear to have a family day on a Monday. We are all very understanding.

We started the day off with pancakes. I made them this time and the kids were disappointed I couldn’t make Mickey pancakes like Dad does. Ha-ha!

Braydon did a few pages of math while Michael went into the office for an hour or so.

After that, we went grocery shopping for the week. When we got home we all tried a caramel dip I got at Aldi. We dipped apples into it. Yum!

We went for a walk down the road. It was a brisk, cold walk! Ryle stared at me the entire time.

When we got home, Michael bathed the kids. Emma helped me make brownies for our game night! Here we are trying to explain Uno to the older girls. Brady had a headache and decided to sleep. Layla ended up loving this game so much! She played mostly with Daddy while I made a beloved dinner; homemade chicken tenders, macaroni and cheese, and fresh green beans. Emma played with shape block pictures and helped me cook.

After that we hung out in the bed, snuggled, and talked before actually sleeping.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 — This morning my sister came over to watch the four older kids while Michael, Ryle, and I went to vote! He snuggled in the MobWrap the whole time. It took hours!

When we got home I did lunch with the kids. Then we did this uppercase and lowercase A craft. They loved doing this! We also practiced writing A on the chalk board. I plan on doing a paper craft for ever letter of the alphabet. I’m trying to teach Braydon his letter names (as opposed to his letter sounds which he knows already).

We spent the evening at my parents house watching the poll numbers (we don’t have a TV). I brought over baked chicken thighs and Dad made parmigiana. The girls listed to music on Auntie’s speaker. They also played Uno again. It was a very fun night.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018 — Today my good friend, Abby Stancil, and her two homeschooled boys came over for the day.

We played in a sensory bin of rainbow rice with scoopers, utensils, and cups.

Then we enjoyed lunch, lots of free play, and color-by-numbers, with coloring pages and stickers too.

Braydon’s work: (Layla did the number trees perfectly too, but I didn’t get a picture.)

Then my mom came over to read the kids a Madeline story. We are hopefully going to see a Madeline play soon, so we wanted to get them familiar with it. She brought each child a cookie. She’s watching the kids so Michael and I can look at houses for sale. The house shopping took hours! We missed Wednesday night church because of it. A big bummer!

Tonight “the toothfairy” is visiting Braydon because he lost his front tooth! Good night!

Thursday, November 8, 2018 — Michael allowed me to sleep in this morning. I had awful sickness early this morning, throwing up and pain in my digestive tract. It’s so difficult to be in that state with a baby to nurse and attend to as well. He sleeps for long stretches if he’s sleeping on my chest, but the moment I move him he wakes and fusses until I nurse him back to sleep. So, needless to say, I slept until about 9:45 and appreciated it greatly.

My midwife came over this morning for my final 6-week appointment. My iron jumped up to 15.1 and my BP was 115/81. These are such great numbers for me. Ryle weighed in at 12.8 pounds!!! That’s two pounds in two weeks he’s gained! The girls drank up this session and loved playing with the BP cuff and the stethoscope. I wonder if one of them will be a Midwife…

We did a bear gluing craft of the letter “B”. Then we did a do-a-dot printable for uppercase and lowercase letter “B”. We talked about its name and sound. Then I gave the kids a clean sheet of paper and asked them to color me a picture of the thing that starts with the letter sound “B”. For example, I said, “Are you going to color a ball or a lamp?” And they all colored a ball! We did that several times. Then I asked them to draw their favorite things with the space that was leftover. Braydon drew a swing set, cake, and his favorite BBQ sauce on chicken. Layla drew cupcakes.

On Braydon’s copypaper you can clearly see he drew a ball, binoculars, a slice of bacon, broccoli, and a baby.

After this we made dinner and cookies. We brought the cookies over to my parents house to watch the football game. It was a very late night! Oh but what fun we had!

Friday, November 9, 2018 — I’m feeling very accomplished this morning. I was up before anyone else in the house and worked out on the stationary bike, showered, dressed, and even made breakfast.

Braydon washed the breakfast plates, cups, and silverware all by himself! Raya was interested, too. It’s so imortant to me to teach life skills in our homeschool.

We did a letter “C” craft. C is for cupcake! Aren’t they the cutest kids you’ve ever seen?

I also bought all the decorations online for Layla’s 5th birthday party. She is having a unicorn party. I even got her a beautiful new unicorn dress to wear for it. I told her about the dress for her party and she was so excited!

We’ve been practicing our letters and it shows. I helped Braydon a bit, but not much. Even though he could do this and will finish the next half on Monday, I am still going to keep doing the paper alphabet crafts. They’ve been a big hit for all the kids. Anyways, this is the last page of his last PACE for his Word Building.

We went to my parent’s house for a quick dinner. I made a homemade macaroni to bring. Good night!

Saturday, November 10, 2018 — Today we agreed to watch my sister-in-laws daughter, Lily, for the whole day. Honestly, it’s just been one of those whirlwind days where I find myself shocked that it’s already over.

Michael made Mickey pancakes this morning. After that the children played all day. We played Jenga. We played doctor and beautician. We had pizza for lunch. We watched a movie. I got a lot of laundry and kitchen cleaning done. This is a picture of Michael on the floor playing doctor with the kids. I was nursing the baby.

When Lily got picked up we went to my parents house for dinner. They bought these fun air shooters, like nerf guns with circular foam bullets. We played Taboo which was a highlight! So fun. I love that game. Then we came home and played ball with the kids before putting them to bed. Layla fell asleep early because she hasn’t been 100% health wise. Michael and I stayed up to watch some Netflix together. I love my husband.

Sunday, November 11, 2018 — Layla was sick this morning. She threw up all over my bed. I sent Michael to the laundry mat to wash what was soiled.

The day sorta just evaporated very quickly with a sick child. We went to my parents house for football and cuddled on the couch. They made a big turkey dinner, but we went home and ended up putting all the kids to bed early.

I can’t believe this week is already over. We have Layla’s birthday and then Thanksgiving coming in the next couple weeks! Praise God for His mercies! And let us always rejoice with Thanksgiving… For health, for freedom, for provision, for the blood of Jesus!

 

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Week 3 // October 29 – November 4

October 29 – November 4

“There isn’t a right way to be educated; there are as many ways as there are fingerprints.” John Taylor Gatto

Monday, October 29, 2018 – Good morning! Michael is feeling even better than yesterday so he is out of the home today working. I pray the Lord would continue strengthening his body and give him energy, vigor, and a clear mind. Lord, bless the work of his hands today.

I put on a YouTube playlist for the kids this morning with number, alphabet, and phonics songs while I nursed the baby.

Braydon read these words and wrote them out. This is his last Word Building PACE, PACE 1012. He is very weak on the last activity which is writing his uppercase and lowercase letters in alphabetical order. We are going to work on that this week so we can complete this PACE and move on to English 1001. I flipped through the English PACE and it looks really good! I’m excited to get him started on it!

I read Braydon, Layla and Emma the Bible story of Daniel in The Lion’s Den and then Braydon did the page that went with it. He had to match the left side of the lions face to the right side and color it. I love the red in the lions face.

Next we did math which Braydon is so good at! WE learned a new concept with LEGO blocks and then did these two pages. The first page I asked him orally and wrote in his answers for him. The second page he wrote his numbers and I gotta say, they look fantastic. He wizzed through these pages.

Afterwards we did some coloring drawing. The girls found matching baby monkey pages in their coloring books and were very happy about it. Ha-ha.

For lunch I had the children assemble their own mini bagel pizzas with sauce and cheese. It was a lot messier than I had envisioned.

We went to my parents house for Monday Night Football (remember we don’t have a TV). My dad made a big salad and buffalo wings, which apparently Layla had asked Papa to make last weekend because she loves them. We also got some pizzas delivered. The kids colored more pictures and played with toys in the living room. Michael and I talked politics with Dad. Emma asked Papa to draw her a unicorn (pictured below). We stayed up so late, but I was telling my Dad how this is some of the awesome parts of homeschool. We can stay up late (after 11pm!) to have irreplaceable time with family, making memories that will last a lifetime, and sleep in a bit the next morning. Our studies will not be impacted because we are not on anyone else’s clock but our own!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018 – Its nine in the morning and everyone is beginning to rise. The house is “waking up.” Coffee is on, cinnamon rolls are baking, and everyone is in a jolly, light spirit. I told all the kiddos to dress warm this morning because there is a chill in the air. They all have socked little feet! So cute!

Over breakfast we talked about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. It must be a hard concept to understand that they are three in one. We also talked about how discipline is an act of love, which I’m sure is even harder to understand at their young ages. God disciplines or corrects those He loves and so does mom and dad because we cannot see someone we love pick up bad habits, put themselves in danger (physically, spiritually, or emotionally), or have destructive interests, like sins and addictions which the Bible says leads to death.

We started the day with Braydon’s hardest subject and he was still overwhelmed by it. I read the paragraphs with the stars and he read the paragraphs with the B’s. He did well, but he is very slow at sounding out his words. I know practice will make it easier for him. His understanding of what he reads is very good. He drew all the lines to the pictures on his own.

On the second page of his math lesson today, he asked if I could ask the questions to him orally again. I made a deal that if he wrote out two lines, I’d ask him aloud the rest. He said, “Deal!” and drew the line.

Emma asked me today, “what does the giraffe say?” and I didn’t know. I said, “lets find out,” and we opened up YouTube on my phone. We watched a few different short videos on giraffes. She loved seeing the mommy giraffes with their babies! I learned some cool facts about giraffes today, too. All because of her curious little mind.

I asked Michael to move three bookcases to make a little homeschool corner in the living room. It was a very big job to organize our office room, move the bookcases, and attach them to the wall. I am planning on moving and organizing all the books eventually.

Braydon made this amazing robot before bed out of LEGO’s! Good night!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018 – This whole day has been crazy. I didn’t start school with Braydon until closer to lunch time. He was not enthusiastic about it at all. This has been our hardest homeschooling day in three weeks.

First, he had no clue what his letters were! I was shocked! He knew all the letter sounds, but was clueless towards their actual name. My, oh my, we have a lot of work to do before starting English 1001. I don’t even know where to start! I’m up for the challenge, though! He’s worth it!

Math took hours because he got so distracted and started playing and goofing around several times. I suppose it is my fault because I was not sitting with him like I usually do. I was very busy doing my own chores around the house. I finally sat with him on the couch and we managed to finish together. You can tell it is not his best work when put side by side with yesterday’s work.

We decided about three years ago not to celebrate hollowed. It’s a personal choice and conviction. We don’t participate in the church’s hollowed festivals either. Tonight our church has Trunks of Treats and we will not be attending. I’m bummed they are not having Royal Rangers or Daisy’s class but it is what it is.

We went to a discount store and scored some amazing deals on Christmas toys for the kiddos. Apparently because Toy’s R Us went out of business there was a lot of toys leftover that went to these discount stores. The store is called Ollie’s and I have no idea why I haven’t shopped there before! It was awesome! I got a book that is Bible Rhymes. I can’t wait to read it to the kids soon.

Layla went to the Dollar Store after that and she bought something with the money that my parents paid her for the work she did last weekend.

When we got home it was really late. We quickly whipped up some ground turkey with taco seasoning and we had flour tortilla taco’s with sour cream, avocado, cheese, and a can of corn. It worked out well. I was so happy not to spend another $40+ on a fast food run for our growing gang, especially after we spent nearly $300 today on Christmas.

Dad played Jenga with the kids after dinner. This was a $4.99 Ollie’s find! They played this game for a solid 45 minutes.

Before bed we did a running game around the living room where Dad would clap his hands and that signaled “Go” and they ran a particular way through the living room. This was in effort to get their wiggles out.

Thursday, November, 1, 2018 – Good morning! Braydon did three more pages in his math PACE. We didn’t do any Word Building today. I think I have found some online projects I’d like to do to learn his letter names and reinforce the letter sounds.

One of my friends came over for several hours today. We talked about everything on our hearts and minds. Pictured below she is making a maze for Braydon to complete which the kids are infatuated with. She brought us chocolate from Thailand where she did mission work at an orphanage recently!

I have been learning more and more about my second child, Layla. she is about to be five years old in a couple weeks. The thing about Layla is that she values one on one time. As you can surely imagine, that is hard to give her when my hands are full with her three younger siblings. Emma is three, Raya is seventeen months, and Ryle is one month  and nursing on demand. Today she went out on a Daddy-Daughter date to Chick-Fil-A. It was just Daddy and Layla. They got chicken sandwiches and fries. Daddy treated her like the princess she is. She played in the place place and even met a new friend. Her emotional cup was filled today and I need to make a reminder to date our children more often.

I have some advice for new moms everywhere and espcecially moms of many little ones at once! Get yourself one of these high beds with wooden rails and put it in a central living space. This bed has been a wonderful asset in raising Ryle. First off, it’s his changing station with his diapers and wipes. It also houses his car seat for easy in and out’s, along with his diaper bag for easy packing. It’s also where I dump and fold all the clean laundry (pictured below, separating clothes into folded piles). And it’s also where Ryle learns to nap on his own (also picture below, Ryle sleeping on his tummy in an orange striped pajama). Raya cannot climb on this bed. She can however reach through the rails and pull on his baby feet, so I make sure to place him deeper in. My older kids know they are not allowed on the bed. It’s a great system that has worked well for us. I recommend it!

We read several poems out of the Bible Rhyme’s book. The artwork was so beautiful! It was really cute to hear all three of my children at one time or another say, “Hey, I remember thatBible story from *insert place they hear it*!”

After that we had a dance party with TobyMac music. It was a workout! We also played Ashes Ashes We All Fall Down. Raya played too. It was so cute because she actually understood the concept and after a time or two began to “fall down” when we did! We also did many stretches. I felt refreshed! Layla literally fell asleep on the couch afterwards.

I found Braydon quietly taking apart a pretend cash register with Daddy’s screw driver. I asked him to please put it back together… if he could! It looked complicated and there were many screws. He put it together perfectly. What an incredible boy!

We played Jenga over dinner tonight. It was just one game before Daddy left for meetings, but it was really fun while it lasted. I made banana ice cream, too. It’s just frozen banana in a blender. I added frozen pears and some unsweetened vanilla almond milk to ours tonight. They think it’s the best treat ever and it’s just blended fruit. Mom win!

We watched a movie and then went to bed. These nights are really rough juggling everything without Michael. I miss him every second he’s gone!

Friday, November 2, 2018 – This day got away from me! We had a late breakfast because everyone slept in. It’s been really dark in our house from all the rainstorms. Braydon completed a 40 minute workout with Michael using his 2 pound weights! He was so proud of himself, as he should be!

We read so many books today! I got a couple packs of level 1 readers a while back but haven’t really read through them. Well, we did today, along with the Rhyming Bible I got at the discount store. It was really cool asking the kids what their favorite story was. Emma liked Daniel Tiger where he couldn’t catch the ball, Layla was tied between Jonah and The Whale poem and Daniel In The Lion’s Den poem, and Braydon’s favorite was a superhero reader, Thor.

We went out today to visit some long-time friends of my parents. They are a husband and wife team of a real estate agent and a builder, “The Bell Team”, because Bell is their last name. We visited their new addition to their house; a detached two-car garage with a one bedroom home upstairs. We are thinking about using them to find a peice of land and building our own customized home on it. We are still thinking and praying and asking God for the right avenue to find our next home. We really want a big backyard with lots of room for outdoor equipment and gardening.

“Do you have a sad child? Immerse them in nature. Do you have a cranky child? Immerse them in nature. Do you have a bored child? Immerse them in nature.”

We had a pizza party, played Jenga, took a bath, and went to bed! Michael and I ended up going to bed when they did around 8:30pm! Talk about a crazy-wild Friday night! Ha-ha!

Saturday, November 3, 2018 — Michael is working today. He said he’d maybe get a day off next week for it. He said I could plan a fun family day for then!

My mom treated us to Everland Play today! She bought me a $7 cup of coffee and a hundred tokens for the kids. They went on all the equipment; slides, jungle gyms, and bouncy houses. They played with dress up, puppets, and building blocks. It was a blast!!!

Dear Lord, take charge over our homeschool. Fill in the educational gaps. Lead me to conversations, resources, and places where Your presence abides. These children are Yours and we are doing this together. I cannot do it without You. Be big in me, God! Help me shape these little minds and hearts to love You and serve You forever! Amen.

We went to my parents house for the evening. She got beads for the kids to make necklaces.

Braydon put together a wooden car with screws and he began painting it with Papa.

The girls made a chocolate pudding cake with Marmi. It was delicious.

Then we realized we had completely forgotten about a birthday party for Michael’s cousin, Rachel. We rushed over there at around 8:30pm and stayed until 10:30pm. We played the game Taboo. Braydon played quite nicely on the piano there.

Sunday, November 4, 2018 — Good morning! We all woke up and went to Mimi’s Cafe for breakfast with my family. My mom held Ryle for a little bit at the end.

Then we spent the whole rest of the day at my parents house watching football. The kids made lots of cards with markers and stickers. Mom made cookies and a warming chicken noodle soup. My dad pulled out all the plans for the house; little rooms drawn in grid paper. We planned an addition onto our home, just roughly, but Brady had a feild day with it! Lots of learning around the table with Papa.

I put all five of the kids to sleep by myself so Michael could keep watching the game. I feel really blessed. It was a great week! Praising God tonight!

 

 

 

 

 

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Week 2 // October 22 – 28

October 22 – 18

Monday, October 22, 2018 – This morning Emma snuggled up to me on the bed with her Children’s Bible. I read a few stories while I nursed the baby. Then she decided to “read” some stories to me. She pretty much narrated the pictures. Last night I had Emma and Layla fall asleep with me in the bed and we each took turns telling stories in the dark before falling asleep, so I think that’s what inspired her decision to “read” to me.

Braydon did lesson two of his phonics. He then went to the chalk board to practice writing “m” and “s”. His sisters started drawing over his work before I could snap a picture. He is very good at remembering the sound and shape of his letters, but when it comes to the correct mechanism of writing it, he often does it wrong.

After a lunch of homemade lunchables (crackers, cheese slices, turkey meat, and grapes in individual bento boxes) we did our Scholastic reader about how animals say “back off!” with their smell, color, or other unique attribute. Then we made a craft with foam shape stickers. We talked about all the shapes and colors. We drew flowers with the foam stickers in the center and boarder of the page. After that we made sugar cookies and frosted them.

All four of the oldest kids played on the deck with scooters and balls. They got some much needed energy out. The weather has turned a bit chilly, but it was refreshing.

After bath time, we read a chapter out of “The Littles” and an Amelia Bedelia book. We watched My Little Pony before bed.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018 – The girls played with foam shape stickers on construction paper over breakfast.

Here are the youngest girls playing with LEGO’s. They were very proud of the height on their tower. Behind them, you can see Daddy’s work office set up so he can help with all the happenings of our family life with a new baby.

I am leaning towards the Charlotte Mason Philosophy for our homeschool. The more I read about it, the more I love it. I have volume one of her six volume series on home education and have been picking random spots to read through in the book. I think I will start at the beginning and read just a few pages a day so I don’t miss anything. Maybe I’ll share the take-aways and quotes that really resonate with me here in this homeschool log. After all, home education is as much for growing the child as it is for the mother. I never want to stop learning, especially for the sake of teaching my children and modeling that love of learning in everyday life.

Here is my favorite passage from today’s reading, “…they will doubtless feel the more strongly that the education of their children during the first six years of life is an undertaking hardly to be entrusted to any hands but their own. And they will take it up as their professions – that is, with the diligence, regularity, and punctuality which men bestow on their professional labors.” Pages 2 and 3 of Charlotte Mason’s Home Education, Volume 1

Have I treated homeschool like it’s my career? Certainly not, but it is! And I’m inspired this day to take it more seriously than ever.

After dinner we took a walk down the street. Layla rode her little pink tricycle bike and Brady rose the red scooter. We had Emma and Raya in the stroller, but Raya got out and ran some of the way. Ryle was was in the MobyWrap and stared at me the whole walk.

After our walk, the children continued playing outside on the deck off our kitchen. Then we had a bath time because they were stinky! Michael read them several bedtime stories, read the Bible, and had prayer time. It was time for bed when all the kids said they were hungry! So Michael made a bunch of pancakes and we had a little party. This is homeschool.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018 – Good morning! I woke up early today. I made cinnamon rolls, put in a load of laundry, and loved on my Raya girl, just me and her. When Braydon woke up we did lesson 3 of his phonics book. I was so happy to have that out of the way first think in the morning. We use “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons”. Braydon practiced writing “m”, “s”, and “a” on the chalk board. He did them all perfectly. Raya wanted a piece of the action. Silly girl! She’ll write a bit on the board and then chew on the chalk! She’s sixteen months old.

After that, I allowed all the children to watch Netflix while my midwife came over for a visit to check on me and the baby. Ryle weighs 10 pounds, 6 ounces! Wow! He’s gained almost two and a half pounds since birth just three weeks ago!

Braydon, Layla, and Emma went to church tonight. They ate pizza with their friends in the fellowship hall first. Then the girls went to Daisies class where they painted signs for an upcoming church event. Braydon went to Royal Rangers. They all got to run around on the playground, too. While they were at church, Michael, myself, Raya, and Ryle went out to eat at a Mexican Restaurant.

Thursday, October 25, 2018 – This is my first real day on my own since Ryle was born. I’ve been very blessed for the last three weeks to have Michael here with us, in his little desk in the corner of our living room. It’s a great perk to own your own business! I know in my online large family groups a lot of families own their own businesses because it is way more conducive to raising a large family. I have seen that first hand with our time the last three weeks. We will miss his presence here during the day.

It’s nearly seven in the morning and Michael is getting ready for the day while I nurse the baby. I’m asking the Lord for His power today to work in my home and to operate in love. There is much to do here with the housework, the nursing of an infant, and the schooling and correcting of the (many) children He’s entrusted to me. I can’t do it in my own strength. I’m glad I don’t have to. Lord, You are welcome in my home today. Have Your way!

Braydon’s math lesson went really well today. Thank you, Jesus, for giving us such a great day so far!

Michael worked late, so it was just the kids and I at the dinner table. I made baked chicken, homemade mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli, and honey glazed carrots. Layla was half way through her meal when she exclaimed, “Mom! Thank you for making this delicious food!” Braydon and Emma followed suite saint their thanks as well. Motherhood is often such a thankless job, but tonight my children really loved me well.

We had a long bath time after dinner. The children played and played. Michael came home and scarfed down his food while they were in the bath and then left again for my dad’s might men’s bible study. I was feeling so exhausted after nearly 13 hours of solo parenting so we skipped reading and went straight to bed around 8pm. I planned to wait up for Michael but I ended up falling asleep with Baby Ryle snuggled right on my chest.

Friday, October 26, 2018 – Hi! Braydon has been excelling at math. I am so proud of him. He did two more pages in his PACE today with ease.

We read several poems out of the “The Christian Mother Goose Book.” I just love that book. We also read some of there stories. I asked Braydon to narrate what he heard. He did well.

Braydon made incredible LEGO creations today. He does nearly everyday, but I realized I’ve never told you that. He is so gifted in building. Since he was two years old he’s been making LEGO creations like rocket ships and airplanes completely symmetrical. What will you do, little man? Where will you go? I love seeing his talents shine. Lord, keep him safe and lead him always. He is Yours!

Braydon, Layla, and Emma did a q-tip painting on shape pages.

After dinner we made ice cream sundaes with chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and rainbow sprinkles. We watched a family movie on the couch with our treats before bed.

Saturday, October 27, 2018 – Daddy woke up with a head cold this morning. I’m hoping he doesn’t pass it on to any of the kids! Even though he was feeling awful he made biscuits and sausage patties for breakfast. He even did the few dishes left in the sink from last night. He huffed and puffed a bit because the kids were full of energy and really curious about his cooking. I gave him a hug and asked to have a good day. He said he would try his best and then he took a nap. Haha!

Layla has been obsessed with this app on my phone called color by number. You pick a picture and click on the colored circles at the bottom of the page that are numbered. Then you match up the numbers in the coloring page all with the touch of your finger. She has completed many pictures already. When I sit with her I ask her what number is this and what number is that. At four years old she has great number recognition! More than Braydon did at that age and I attribute it to this color by number game. It’s a great motivator when she is slow to do her chores, too. I tell her she can do one picture if she, for example, tidies up her room. Win, win in my book.

My mom came over and presented the girls with new dress-ups! We painted their nails after. I hope they feel like true princesses!

We had dinner with my parents, but Michael was very sick after his nap and literally stayed in bed all day and into the night.

Sunday, October 28, 2018 – Michael is still in bed! I am so worried about him. I’ve prayed for him and he’s also been taking medicine. Now I have a stuffy and runny nose, I’m really hoping it’s nothing. This morning I watched Free Chapel online by myself because we’re obviously not getting to church this morning. They had a kids choir preform and Layla told me she wanted to sing in it.

Michael finally perked up and is feeling a little bit better. At least good enough to camp out on my parents couch to watch football games all day.

There is so much homeschool enrichment when we go to my mom and dad’s house. Brady and Layla worked hard on filling pill compartments with vitamins for each day of the week and also did some small clean up jobs, so my parents paid them for their work. My mom got a fun memory game that we played, mostly with Braydon. They have puzzles and books and workbooks. They did a craft project on the deck with markers and paint. They even played with play dough. I’m so thankful for the extras they provide. It’s become a well-rounded family effort to school these kiddos! I love that Michael has been reading before bed and presenting Bible time and prayer each day. It feels like I need to be more focused on the book work because everything else comes quite naturally if you hang out around us… Feeling thankful! Grateful! Blessed!

Happy Homeschooling!