Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Keepers at Home

This week at our Keepers at Home meeting, the girls made pumpkin pie tarts as part of their Snacks and Drinks skill award. First, we all washed our hands. In addition to learning how to bake, cook, etc...  the girls also learn about all the different appliances, utensils, and kitchen safety.
I usually divide the girls into 2 groups, with a nice age range. This way, all the girls have a chance to do several different jobs, and the older ones are able to teach the younger ones things they may already know.

Each group is given a Keeper mom to assist with the preparations.
Each girl was able to create 3 of their own pumpkin pie tarts.
The best part came when we were finally able to eat our little tarts! So yummy... This little Keeper gave it a "thumbs up".

Monday, November 21, 2011

Great American Teach-In

A few days ago, our oldest daughter participated in the Great American Teach-In, an annual event where people from the community are invited to speak to students about their career, hobbies, or really anything! Since our daughter recently had her book
Tampa Bay From A to Z published, she was invited to speak at the elementary school she attended several years ago.
When we first arrived at the school, we were taken to an office to sit for a while and wait for her first class. There were all sorts of goodies for us to eat!
Here she is, outside of the first classroom she was about to visit. She was nervous, but I just kept reminding her that these were little kids and to just be herself!
Bean was given a very full schedule! She rotated to a different classroom every 30 minutes, and some of the rooms had 2 or 3 classes together!
Here she is, in one of the second grade classrooms. The children were so attentive and I loved their questions.
It was really fun seeing how each class was different. In some classes, she read the entire book. In others, the teacher took turns reading with her.
At the end of the day, we visited the media center to give a book to the library. Here she is, signing the book.
It was such a busy, tiring day for her but she inspired so many children to want to write and create their own books!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

So Sweet!

To say that my little boy loves his daddy is an understatement. He absolutely adores him and it is evident in everything he does- even during school time. He is constantly drawing hearts with "dad" written on them. He builds things with his Legos and gives them as gifts to daddy. During writing time, his focus is on things he has done or would like to accomplish with Daddy.  When we go to the store with his hard earned cash to purchase something, he always asks if I think daddy would like the toy he has chosen. At least once a week, my husband takes our little boy with him to work. It is so exciting for him, and it makes me smile to imagine what "manly" things they are doing and talking about.
He looks like him-
He acts just like him-
He wants to be just like him-
The other day during school, my little guy and I did a writing activity and he had to come up with the last part of the last sentence. This is what he wrote-
Such a simple,  yet perfect sentence. He could have said anything- I love pizza. I love cars. I love playing. But he chose the one above- I love Daddy. What a blessing to have a daddy like yours.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Weekend in the Country

This weekend, we took off away from the city, and spent a few days out in the country with family. Although the days were pretty warm, we were quite surprised at how cold it got in the evenings!  It's a good thing we had a nice fire to warm us up.

The kids, both big and small enjoyed riding the quads, playing on the tire swing, and participating in target practice with the bb gun.
The cousins really are best friends, and we always have a blast when we go away together!
Our daughter and her older cousin were a big help, cleaning up after breakfast.
One evening, we decided to go for a ride in the Ocala National Forest. Unfortunately, we did not see any large animals- just a few rabbits. But the kids had a blast riding in the back of the truck in the darkness. And when I say darkness, I mean completely black!

Here I am with my sister in law, trying to warm up in the sunshine. This was a fun weekend for everyone, and we can't wait to escape to the country again soon!

Friday, November 11, 2011

American Girls Everywhere!!!

Our girls have always loved all things American Girl. We do not live anywhere near the American Girl store and it has been their lifelong dream to go there someday! They both saved up their hard earned money to buy dolls for themselves, which is no easy feat, considering the price tag! But unfortunately, all the accessories, etc... are just too much for our budget. Our younger daughter received the gift of a lifetime yesterday, when the FedEx man delivered 2 large boxes. And what, might you ask was in these boxes???
Three American Girl dolls, along with a TON of accessories and clothes! Being a younger cousin definitely has advantages! Do you see that smile on her face? That stayed there all day long.
Allow me to introduce you to Felicity, Elizabeth #2, and the "no name" doll- now known as Maria.
For our little girl, it was as if she had won the lottery or something. There was lots of joyful screaming and excitement- so much so that we did not get much school work done! Even our little boy was thrilled!
All 3 kids immediately got to work, setting up an American Girl mall. This above was the shoe store. And below, Kanani is selling accessories.
Our daughter spent the entire day, sorting clothes, trying on all the different outfits, etc...
This makes for a very exhausting day, if you are an American Girl doll. Good night Elizabeth, Elizabeth 2, Kanani, Felicity, and Maria.
We hope you like your new home! One thing for sure- you will be loved and played with every day! Thank you E and J- you have made a little girl happier than she has ever been. And by the way- you will both be happy to know that they arrived with their hair-do's still lovely as ever! And now you can sleep peacefully, knowing they are no longer "watching" you!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Wow! Homeschooling is Busy!

People always ask me what we do at home all day long, now that we homeschool. I have to try not to laugh at them because most of you who homeschool know that it is lots of work, lots of play, and never ever NOT busy!
Our children are involved in many different activities. This fall, both our girls are playing soccer, which takes up 2 evenings per week and 1 game day per week. All 3 take weekly piano lessons as well as do folk dancing. Our girls are in the Keepers at Home club each week. We also have monthly H.E.A.R.T. Homeschool group meetings and all sorts of different  field trips.
We recently had a party for our oldest, to celebrate the publication of her book, Tampa Bay From A to Z. Over $4000 has been raised from the sales of the book, to benefit two local children's hospitals in our area!
Our local grocery store bakery did a fantastic job on the cake! They made the top piece look exactly like her book, and then stacked it on top of a history "book", also made entirely of cake. I do have to say too that it was delicious!
Our little guy has been really busy doing all sorts of fun fall school activities. These leaf numbers were perfect for playing several games with him. He loves it when I take one leaf away and he has to guess which number is missing. He is proud of the fact that he can count to 100 and is now counting by 10's and 5's. We are still working on the 2's.
He also spent some time with me placing all these apple letters in ABC order, and then matching various apple related words to their correct spot. He is getting pretty good at placing words in alphabetical order now.
His  most recent poetry basket involved a poem about Five Little Pumpkins. He enjoyed this poem and loved matching the correct pumpkin face to the description given in the poem.
Meanwhile, our little girl has been learning about different types of poetry, and she was given the task of creating a cinquain poem about apples.

We have all been enjoying the variety of Thanksgiving and fall books in our reading corner.
At our Keepers Club, the girls had fun creating these Christian pumpkins. You can find the printables for this activity at 1 + 1 + 1 blog.
The sweet sounds of Christmas music have been filling the air lately. With all 3 children taking piano lessons, there is often a traffic jam at the piano! Occasionally, there are arguments over who gets to practice next, and I think to myself how nice it is that THAT is what they are squabbling over!

Our two youngest spent a few days at our local international folk festival, stamping the passports of children from various schools. Over 8000 students attended this year! More than 40 countries are represented at this annual festival, and our kids also dance in the Portuguese folk dancing group.

So, that is a little peek at what has been going on. So, when people ask what we do all day as homeschoolers, I can confidently say that we do more than just school work. Life is going on, and what a blessing it is to spend these days with our children.