Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A New School Year in a Homeschool Family

We didn't really stop doing school this summer - but nevertheless, there still needs to feel like a beginning of a new school year. I love it - the new books, new supplies, the feeling that you are going to be so much smarter. I know the excitement fades quickly - and that is just as true for homeschoolers but I try to keep things fun and exciting.

I have had a classroom in the past and never used it - we always schooled around the table because it was central to everything else going on in the house. In the last two years, however, it became very clear that I wanted and NEEDED a classroom. With so many kids and so much activity in the house, the ability to be a room dedicated to learning and working was vital to our success. SO all of kids are in two bedroom so that we can a classroom. We won't be able to do that forever but for now it works. Here is my classroom:

my red horseshoe table is my fav.
the view from behind the table - we use dvds with a few of our courses and so we can watch them right from the table.

(Sonja - recognize the globe?)
my timeline is around the top of the wall - I made the cards myself - we are memorizing it.

All my curriculum...
If you noticed a bit of a geography/Africa theme you'd be right. We are focusing on the 7 continents this year with our co-op. We are doing a continent each month and September was Africa. We are having so much fun learning about far away places. Our co-op had a big kick-off to start the year.
Mr friend, Rachel, made t-shirts for all the kids(they are adorable) and we took pictures of each of the kids in front of a map to put in their passports (also made by Rachel). These are the cupcakes we brought... And here's the crew! I am so excited about our school year. I am so blessed to be a part of our group. the kids enjoy learning together with their friends and can't wait for Thursdays - and I can't blame them - so do I!

OK - one last funny thing... I am making postcards for all the moms (with them on their own)to send to their kids at the beginning of each month to introduce the new continent. I don't have mad photoshopping skills but I do think these are pretty funny. The kids loved the Africa one they got this month.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Baby Butterworth

This morning Piper got a hold of the bottle of Mrs. Butterworths while I was making pancakes. Naturally, she though it was a baby and rocked it while I cooked. :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Long Sleeves!!

Last night was the first night of the season where I got to wear long sleeves!! I love long sleeves (mostly because they hide my arms) but I really love when it starts to get cool and you wear long sleeves for the first time. It just makes me happy.
Our co-op is studying the continents this year - each month a different continent. This month was Africa. We've all been doing Africa related studies, learning where all the countries are on the continent. It's been fun. I am really looking forward to the year. Each months the moms go out for dinner. It's my favorite night of the month. We decided to eat at restaurants the coincide with our continent of that month - aren't we fun?! SO, this month we ate at the Elephant Bar.
After dinner we had dessert at the Cheesecake Factory. I know, it doesn't have anything to do with Africa but it was next door - how could we resist???
I love these ladies - tired of hearing me say that? Oh well, get used to it. :) Happy Fall!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Last Friday night most of the families in our flock met for a spaghetti and meatball dinner at our house. Everyone brought something to contribute to the meal. I made homemade meatballs (all 115 of them thank you very much) and it was delish!

Piper loved her meatballs - she is showing the camera...
The we jumped into vans and head to...
...the movies theater to see "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs."

It was really fun. The kids loved having friends there.

We had read the book in preparation. Half way through the movie Tyson comes to my seat and says "Is this Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs? Because this is not in the book!"

I sure do love my flock. Its always a party when we are together.
(Thanks, sweet friends, for the groceries, the movies tickets, and snacks!!)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Double the Birthday Fun

I am so behind in my blogging. We went from vacation to the twins birthday to the beginning of school to my mom visiting to our first field trip... on and on.. There are so many cute things I want to blog but don't because I am behind. Like today, after talking to my kids about 9/11 and showing them some videos Madison changed into her "Liberty Rocks" shirt and is carrying around an American flag. Precious! But - no time for little cute stories... on to the big stuff... like celebrating the twins birthday the day after vacation.
The boys turned 5 on the 30th. We had our small group come over to celebrate with us. It was a very laid back party. The kids all played and the adults all chatted and we all ate cake. The daddies and boys did start up a young vs. old football game which was really sweet.
My favorite part was when we sang happy birthday to the boys (one at a time, of course). Having so many people there, men and women, boys and girls - made the singing so full and loud. It made we wish i had been videoing instead of snapping pictures. It reminded me how thankful I am for our friends here and for our small group. It was such a blessing.

Here was the set up...

Set out pictures of the boys at the 1st. 2nd, 3rd and 4th birthdays...

I set out their first year albums so everyone could see what little sugars they were... (but everyone just wanted to see pictures of me pregnant with twins so i had to drag that out as well)

Wilson wanted a "Peep and the Big Wide World" cake - a cute little show on Discovery Kids that we just recently rediscovered...

Tyson wanted an Electric Company cake. You noticed, by the way, that I ordered cakes AGAIN! I couldn't have enjoyed my vacation if i though I had to come home and make 2 cakes the day of the party. It was nice to have it taken care of...

My little twins... I can't believe they are 5. I can't believe I have twins! They are double trouble and have been for quite some time. They are best buds and USUALLY get along really well. Wilson is more athletic and silly.

Tyson is more verbal and sensitive.

They both love playing with their friends, their siblings, and each other.

They both bought Webkinz with their birthday money.

They both still cuddle bunches with me.

They are both super excited about school even though Wilson is still learning letter sounds while Tyson has been reading for a year now.

They still opt to share a bed most nights as opposed to separate.

They both make me smile.

They both come up with super lame excuses to get out of bed at night.

Tyson loves to draw.

Wilson loves to play outside.

They both LOVE their baby sister although Will gets pleasure out of irritating her too.

Their big chores are picking up toys in the backyard, emptying trash, and putting away laundry - and they both whine when it is time to do it (Ty more than Will).

They are both so loved by their mommy that they can hardly stand it but they give me all the hugs and kisses I want.

Happy birthday little buddies. I love you!!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Branson Trip - part three - Silver Dollar Duggar

Here's me and my new best friend, Michelle Duggar. Haha. Ok, we'll get to that in a bit...

ON Friday morning we headed off to Silver Dollar City. I have to say, I REALLY enjoyed this park and I wasn't expecting to. I would love to go back again now that we know where everything is. The kids were just fantastic all day long - all 12 of them.

Madison and I rode the Wildfire 3 times! I think it is my new favorite roller coaster.

Of course...
Gettin' some sugar from this little cutie pie...
Had to put the daddies in jail - the kids loved it...
OK -so on to the good stuff... While Rachel and I were waiting with the babies for everyone else to get off the swings she whispers my name and starts jerking her head to indicate I needed to check something out behind me. I look around - wondering if I am supposed to see someone in a ridiculous outfit or something. I don't see anything. I look back at her and she is dying for me to see what she sees. Finally she says "I just saw Mr. Duggar!!" I look in the direction she pointed and there was a man in a brown shirt walking with a little blonde boy. "Are you sure?" "Yes!!!" she says. SO I ran after him. But by this time he was gone - I had lost him.
I get back to Rachel and she says she really thinks he was taking his son to the bathroom and that perhaps they will be walking back. While we wait we notice what seem to look like little Duggars down past us - the direction the Jim Bob look alike came from.
Sure enough - in just a few minutes, Jim Bob Duggars comes walking down the path with his son. I went right up to him and introduced myself and told him a little about our two families. He was SO gracious and kind. He chatted for a few minutes with Rachel and me. We mentioned that we'd love to meet the rest of his family, especially Michelle, and he invited to come down to the pavilion where they were hanging out when our kids were done with the ride.
We were so excited. I mean, Rachel and I were giggling and smiling like we had just met A-list Hollywood celebrities. We'd talk about something and then laugh as say "I can't believe we are going to meet the Duggars!!!" We were quite silly. Then Madison gets off the ride and comes over and says "Was that the Duggars dad??????!!!!!" She was more excited than we were (or so I tell myself).
SO, we went down to where the Duggar crew was hanging out. No cameras. They were just there as a family. As first we just saw kids -no parents. It was fantastic how well behaved they were and how the older ones watched after the younger ones. I went over and met Jessa. She told me her mom would back in a minute. Then Madison and I met Josiah, Joy-Anna, James and we think one more (we lost count!!).
Finally Michell came back and Jim Bob pointed to us (where we were ever so nonchalantly hanging out pretending to watch our kids on the kiddie coaster). They waved us over and met both of our families. All I can say is that they are every bit as gracious and sweet and kind as they seem on tv.
We thanked them for being such a wonderful example of a loving family and being so gracious, especially to those who believe nothing like they do. They turned it all back to the Lord and praised His grace. They chatted with us about field trips they had taken near where we live. It was really cool to meet them. They also mentioned that after 7 is when they thought about not having more kids - haha.
We told them not to try and call all their kids over for the picture. They were all so content where they were but two of them jumped in this shot (one posing with Michelle and the other carrying the cup in the corner of the photo)....
Then Rachel and started texting friends and continued to giggle every time we looked at each other. We are such dorks!! (Donna - it made me think of you chasing after Michael Jackson in a theme park!!)
SO, we continued the day of rides and fattening foods . Everyone had a blast. Piper finally did sleep for a little bit on Daddy's back (thanks Sunny! That thing was a life saver and SO much better than mine!)...

Tyson chatting about the day with his best little buddy...

Leaving the park at 5:30. What a full day!! Movie night ahead (next post).

Branson Trip - part two- "On the Stage"

After the boat made it back, Rachel made spaghetti dinner for us all (homemade sauce!). And then we headed off for the "Amazing Pets" show that my brother, Jack, scored the tickets for. It was super cheesy and we were certainly the youngest people in the auditorium now that school was back in session but we thought it was great because Carson and Jason were called up to be part of the show!

Carson was part of a magic trick. He was up there for at least 10-15 minutes. He was hilarious!! He was really the star of the show. I was so proud of him!

Jason was also asked to come up. He wasn't very excited about it but made it pretty funny anyways..

Check out the chick next to him. I thought about trying to photoshop about 100 pounds on her. :)

The kids just LOVED the show. They loved every single animal and every single act. They were laughing so loud at every cheesy joke. It was so fun to see them enjoying themselves so much. Thanks Jack!