Friday, January 23, 2009

My New Dining Room

I can't believe I finally got this done! I have had paint chips hanging on the wall in the dining room for months, many months. Two rolls of painter's tape (that didn't work...what you don't see in the picture is all of the blue and brown on my chair rail and baseboard...ugh!!), 6 or 7 hours of painting and trimming and painting and trimming a second coat, brown paint all over me and the throw rug and everywhere else, and some very sore, aching muscles from all the bending and climbing, and I finally have a new dining room. We went shopping for accessories today and found the candlesticks that are on the back table and the lantern thing hanging in the corner (Aly's idea). The candlesticks were really a matching pair, but the smaller one had glass that wasn't attached (like the larger one) and it fell off in the middle of the aisle at Hobby Lobby and shattered. I was so upset. I must have looked devastated because Aly burst into tears in the middle of the aisle and cried for 10 minutes (at least) because there wasn't another one. I bought the smaller one anyway because the base matched and I wanted two different sizes on the table. I need to find some wall pictures/shelves/something. My big picture frame will go over the table on the wall. Now the only problem is the rest of the house looks too darn white!

The room beforeTaken from the living room doorway

Taken from the kitchen doorway.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Yes, he really jumped up here on his own. Yes, he really thinks he belongs here. Yes, I think he is wondering where HIS plate is.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Weekly Report

Wow! We have now been back to school for two whole weeks. It has gone better than expected. Today ended up being a light day. Skyeler and Aly are both suffering from the sniffles. Not bad enough to warrant a sick day, but enough to require a little extra sleep this morning and a light day of school. Let's see what we've done this week...

Skyeler and Aly:
The Greenleaf Guide to Old Testament History lessons 3-6. We started using this study guide last week. It begins in Genesis and goes through the whole Old Testament. We read a chapter or two and then discuss/answer questions. This is working out well since both Dan and I started reading in Genesis at the beginning of the month. So this week we studied Cain & Abel, Enoch & Methuselah, Before the Flood, and the Flood.

George Washington's World pp. 259-299 and Story of the World ch. 23, 25. This week in history we have learned about the Constitution, America's first president, and the beginning of the French Revolution. I am always fascinated at what I did not learn in history class. History for me was more about dates of battles and the progression of events, I don't remember an in depth view of the people who made those events what they were. As we read the Preamble to the Constitution, I couldn't help hearing the tune from "School House Rock." Aly sang with me, Skyeler just rolled her eyes.

Our history read aloud has been The Sherwood Ring. We began this right before Christmas break and I had the good intentions of reading over break. Ha! We picked it up again after break and finished it today. The story reveals flashbacks of the Revolutionary War period as told by ghosts of ancestors past (very short synopsis). Though it started a little slow, we had a hard time putting it down this week and finished it earlier than scheduled.

In co-op we are doing Mapping the World by Heart, in modified form. The girls practiced labeling maps of North America and the United States last week. This week they are working on drawing them. Both are doing very well at this. As soon as they have the maps drawn, they are required to fill them in from memory. They will be finishing these up this weekend or early next week. This has taken quite a bit of time, but other than the normal fuss over it not looking "perfect," it has gone well.

Skyeler took the module 7 test for Apologia's Physical Science this week and began module 8. I think this may be Skyeler's favorite subject. Modules 7 and 8 have been on weather and Skye has been sharing some of the things she has read. On Wednesday when it started snowing, she informed me the "whys" behind the big snowflakes. I'm glad she enjoys it and understands it.

She's plugging along in VideoText Algebra. This week she had to go back and review positive and negative numbers. I am so thankful for a video program. After having taken Algebra I & II myself, it is still Greek to me!

In Henle Latin she got through week 6 in the Memoria Press guide. This is slow going, but she seems to understand what they are saying. I had good intentions of studying this ahead of her, but honestly, after all these years, I still want to learn French and Latin just doesn't appeal to me. I might have to force myself so I can at least help her if she gets stuck. Maybe I can get Aly to learn French :)

For English she took a quiz on A Christmas Carol (which she finished last week) and then wrote a summary paper, did Wordly Wise vocab lesson 9B & C, and began reading Betsy and the Emperor. After much deliberation I have decided to focus on her writing for a little while. She was getting bogged down with Rod and Staff grammar and after some research, I decided to give it a break. She needs to improve her writing skills. I plan to pull out some old worksheets to keep the grammar fresh in her mind, but move on for a few months to writing. I'll reevaluate in a month or so and see how it's going.

Piano was cancelled this week because of the snowy weather but she continues to practice.

Aly did Saxon Math lessons 53-56 this week. She learned about measuring with feet, lines of symmetry, making a number line, adding & subtracting 10, and did some addition and subtraction time tests. She also had a written assessment this week, which she aced. This program is a really good fit for Aly. I'm surprised at how much I like it.

She finished Explode the Code Book 6 yesterday. That was pages 111-124! She came upstairs to ask me if she could just finish it since she was so close to the end of the book. I think she was going to beg me to let her do it :) Of course I said yes. I'm not sure where we are going to go now. I have Explode the Code 4 put aside. Cheryl said that some of the material was for the latter part of 2nd grade, we could probably start it now. I am also thinking about ordering All About Spelling to begin with her instead of finishing the last two books of Explode the Code. I guess we'll see.

This week and last we read Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow for Five in a Row. It seemed appropriate since we are in the middle of the Revolutionary War in history. All in all we did a lapbook page on the sequence of events, Massachusetts, and a timeline of the Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere's Ride, and the signing of the Declaration of Independence. She also drew a picture of Paul Revere and his horse using the Draw Write Now books and then did a written narration under the picture. We visited the official Paul Revere website and took a "virtual tour" of the route he traveled. We discussed colonial architecture and drew examples. We talked about Henry Wadsworth Longfellow briefly and then did some rhyming patterns with the poem. Aly read parts of the poem out loud to me and did a very good job with the cadence. We also read a couple books about fog as a science tie in. When we get the lapbook put together, I'll have to take a picture.

I had Aly read out loud to me this week. She read from Frog and Toad All Year and the Christian Liberty Nature Reader 1 (the parts about spiders...her choice).

Though this is only our second Weekly Report, I am again surprised at what we've done during the week. It's nice to look back and see that we really did accomplish something.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

My Christmas Present

Isn't it beautiful! Maybe I should have taken a picture of the horrid chandelier that was there when we moved in. It reminded me of something Snow White's evil step-mother may have had in her house :) Gold-ish/brass-ish with thorns. Yuck! Lucky for me, Dan and the girls went out on a limb for my Christmas present this year. Instead of receiving the scrapbooking cubes that I had pointed out to Skyeler at Hobby Lobby, I got this. Now I just need to buy the blue and brown paint to paint the dining room with and get some curtains and make the dining room look like a room and not a sterile, white box. Yipee!

Roller Girl

Aly received a pair of rollerblades for Christmas. We had no idea how much she would like them. She wore them most of Christmas Day (see pictures below). She wore them up the stairs, through the kitchen on the linoleum, in the bathroom, down the stairs, while playing the Wii, while playing games with Granny. It was hilarious. Did I mention that all of our house is carpet except the kitchen and bathrooms? Dan finally told her she had to stop going up and down the stairs in them. Amazingly enough, the day after Christmas it was almost 60 degrees and we were able to get outside and let her try them out. After all that running around on the carpet, she did very well outside. We hope to all get new rollerblades for spring so we can go to the park and blade.
Aly wearing her rollerblades for the first time, she kept on wearing them ...
... while playing a board game ....

... while playing the Wii ...
... and finally out in the open ... Daddy is next to her in the street.

Christmas Day ... a little late

Upon seeing these pictures Aly says, "It was Christmas Day and we opened up the Wii and we played it for hours!" We really did have an awesome Christmas. The girls were just as excited this year about the presents that they had bought for the rest of the family as they were about the gifts that were under the tree for them. In fact, we kept trying to get them to open some of theirs, but there was always someone else they were dying to have open a present. After the girls did their stockings, Granny got to open the first gift. A new pie dough mat. I received a new light fixture for the dining room, Papa received slippers and other practical gifts, Dan an Ohio State blanket from the girls and a new wedding band from me (he's lost two) ... and so much more it seemed for everyone. The big gift for my Mom and Dad was a personalized calendar with pictures of our family and Cheryl's. We just couldn't wait to give it to them, so they opened it Christmas Eve. The big gift for the girls (and us) was the Wii! Before Christmas I had really talked it up that we couldn't find a Wii anywhere and we should have started looking for it earlier. Neither Skyeler nor Aly were expecting it. We had a ball Christmas day playing and watching each other play. Dad and Mom joined in for some of the games. Dad wouldn't play a few because he didn't want to get too sore ... maybe we should've followed his lead. The next day Mom and I were very sore. LOL! Well worth it though. It was definitely one of the best Christmas's we have had.

Opening the Wii...excitement!

Skyeler and Aly bull riding.

Mom and Dad racing each other in Mario and Sonic Olympics.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

We got a Wii Fit!!

There are so many things that I should be blogging about, however, I just have to say that we got a Wii Fit today. I'm so excited...even if it blimped up my Mii...a lot. *Sigh* Well, that's the reason we got it. So I can get fit. Since I have NOT taken the time to blog about Christmas, I should say that we bought a Wii for the family for Christmas. We have had an awesome time with it.

Now that we are back to routine this week, maybe I'll get around to blogging about Christmas, my present, and whatever else I haven't blogged about.