Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Homeschooling with little ones

The little ones don't like to be left out when we are homeschooling, so I schedule about 45 min a day for "Preschool".  I figure that both our Littles could use help in catching up developmentally, and I can't let my "whole 2 years" of preschool teaching experience go to waste, so we're giving it a try.

We are incorporating lots of basics, like colors and shapes, and working on vocabulary, since Quinn is now trying out her new language with a little more confidence.  My favorite part is doing songs with actions, and both the kids have been quick to pick up on The Wheels of the Bus, and the Itsy Bitsy Spider as their favorites. 

Oh, and also the hand play "This is the church..."  That one cracks me up when Quinn is insisting that I say it along with her, as she is pointing her "steeple" at me. Then she does the "where are the people?" part, hiding her fingers.... could she get any cuter??

Today we threw in a little Sensory Art using one of my favorite mediums- Shaving Cream.

Whats not to like?  Easy clean up, doesn't stain their clothes, and the kids smell good when they are done- haha! 

Bri and I find that they are so much better about giving us our school time when we have given them some of their own, so for now, that's our strategy for getting it all done.  And hopefully, we are all learning something :-)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Playing Catch-up

Lots of catching up to do since my computer malfunctioning episode the beginning of August.  Since I'm not big on rehashing, I will make it short and sweet!  Here's a quick summaryof what we've been up to the past 5 weeks~

County Fair:
Because of our move to the new farm, we knew we wouldn't have alot of projects ready for the fair.  I mean, let's be truthful- we are just happy to get the basics of meals, laundry, chores, and schooling done most days.  We don't get too full of ourselves and think we can also get a Jersey heifer broke to lead, matching skirts sewn by the girls, and breathtaking photo collages- we just don't have it in us most days. 
This year our motto was : Keep it Simple.

We showed a few chickens...

Bri, Moyra,
Camille, and Lani
Showed a rabbit or two...

Bri received 2nd place in Rabbit Showmanship- tough competition too!
And had fun with all of our 4H friends...

The County Fair is usually the closest thing to a vacation that we get, so we splurge on eating Indian Tacos and sweet corn, get the fair bracelets and ride until we are dizzy, and put off housework for 4 glorious days!  It's the last big fling before school starts, and it's our official End of Summer event.

  And yes, we eat homemade pie at the 4H food stand too :-)


The fair was followed by G's surgery for a hernia repair- not something that he was real keen on doing, but he was a brave little guy and was happy to now have a new belly button as a result!

Clifford made the whole experience so much better!

Just waking up from the anesthesia and a little scared.

MUCH happier now- I think the pain meds were finally kicking in :-)

His follow up went without a hitch, and he's now sporting a nice, new "innie" belly button! 



Luke, Quinn, Camille, J, and Bri
Here was our  "motley" crew on the  morning of the first day of school.  Can you tell which kids are happy to be going to school and which ones are NOT? (G slept in that morning, so he's not even in the picture.)
We are experimenting with sending Camille to public school this year-it was not an easy decision.  However, after alot of discussion of pros and cons, it came down to 2 main reasons for me wanting her to attend school. 
Number 1- I have given her 6 years of high maintenance attention, school and otherwise, and I really feel that Quinn now deserves time with me as well.  Quinn will need help with expressive language and I want to be starting her on preschool subjects to help her vocabulary improve.  The other kids sometimes 'gentley' remind me of how much time and attention Camille has demanded and needed the past 6 years, and how often they have had  to do without.  If I don't have Camille prepared for the social arena of public school by now, then I probably never will.
Number 2- Mama needs a break. (Did I say that out loud??)  Most nights, Camille and I were still sitting at the table at 5:30 still doing school, when I should've been preparing supper and seeing to the hundred other things that demand my attention.  Every book I've read on RAD warns parents NOT to teach their RAD child because it presents another opportunity to battle for control.  All I know is that it was very hard on our mother-daughter relationship, and for that reason, I am hopeful that this solution will benefit all of us. We are now 3 weeks into the school year, and I am already seeing a positive change in Camille.  It's amazing when the other 20 4th graders all get their worksheet done in 30 minutes that SHE can too!  Who woulda guessed?
So let the games begin!

On the farm front, we had the inconvenience of having our yard dug up again to have all of the waterlines replaced-more fun than you can imagine.....really!

 We also sold 4 of our horses that were not exactly "fun" to ride, and used that money to purchase 3 really rideable horses.  What a difference! The girls are really enjoying all their horse time, and we have begun taking them to lessons twice a month at our local rodeo grounds.  They have about a 4 hour class, and they have already done so much better with these horses than they did with their old ones.

So now we have a house full of cowgirls, and I couldn't be more thrilled!

Our plan is to get the girls so hooked into riding and loving their horses that they won't be interested in boys for YEARS!  That's the plan anyway :-)


We are so lucky here in South Dakota to have a Lifelight concert every Labor Day weekend.  3 days full of our favorite Christian singers and groups, and it's all FREE!  Can you imagine, thousands of Christians sitting around in our lawn chairs, kids playing frisbee, rocking out and worshipping together- it takes me to a whole 'nother level of Godliness and goodness and spirituality that brings tears to my eyes. 
The presenters are usually band members that share their Faith stories, and we leave feeling spiritually fed and inspired.  The music is INCREDIBLE and the groups are the ones we listen to on the radio, so we KNOW THE WORDS!

(Nothing worse than a Scandanavian with no pitch, singing songs that she doesn't know- at least I can rock the words if nothing else!)

This year we were lucky enough to hear Santus Real, and 10th Avenue North- 2 of my very favorite groups, so I was thrilledAnd their faith messages were almost better than their music! I gotta think that hearing testimonials like that will influence my kids for the better, and the benefits of the music is a no-brainer.  The coordinators of Lifelight are influencing so. many. people!  I hope their vision continues so that thousands each year can have access to such a wonderful ministry, whether they are expose to Christian music for the first time, or they are fans like my family. 

That is why we donate to it each year, so that this mission can continue.  I cannot say enough good things about it, so if you are ever able to attend a Lifelight concern, run, don't walk!!  You will thank me.


Well, those are the highlights from the past 5 weeks.  Let's stay in touch :-)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 disappoint.

3 months. That's how long the hard drive on my laptop lasted this time.

I don't use my laptop for gaming, or holding huge amount of pictures or data; I don't tie into a huge network or download "stuff" that will corrupt my computer. So why did my harddrive crash only after 3 months of normal use? Inquiring minds want to know.

Where is Ralph Nadar when you need him?

This could start a whole dialogue about how poorly items are made these days... how we are enslaved by a marketplace that produces inferior products so that they are assured of future customers sooner rather than our throw-away society seems to expect and accept the short lifespan of many of our purchases, because it gives us an opportunity to go shopping again and maybe pick out a different color this time...yada yada yada.

Or so the rant goes. that I have her back, and most of the programs reloaded, I hope to be back in touch with the online world. Because we have alot of decisions coming up the next few months that will affect our family, and we are praying for divine guidance to follow His will.

We are also facing some tough economic times during the months ahead, and we want to be able to put our heads together to try and live more simply and more frugally.

So here's to a fresh start, electronically and otherwise.

And just for fun, here is some cuteness.

We love us some cantalope!