Monday, November 24, 2008

Pictures from the weekend...

This was absolutely the best weekend we have had in a long time! Annalee had her cheerleading competition. We were worried about how the girls would do because one of the girls didn't show up for the competition, which meant they had to change their dance a little bit an hour before the show. They did awesome! Their team got the "Elite" trophy, which was explained that they were the best of the best! We are so proud of them! It made all of the extra practices definitely worth it. It was bittersweet, though, because the season is over. The girls are going to ride in the Christmas parade in a few weeks and have their party, then it'll be over.

Sunday evening we invited some of our church family over for a Thanksgiving meal. Everyone brought something and we had food everywhere! After it was all said and done, the majority of the food had been eaten! I think next time I need to do a 2nd dish of sweet potato casserole and we need another chocolate pie! Everything was soooo delicious! The kids all got along great. It was so wonderful to sit back and listen to all of the conversation and laughter. I love to hear laughter. We were all so tired by the end of the night, but I was sad to see everyone leave. If December wasn't such a busy month, I'd invite everyone back for a Christmas meal! I hope we are able to do this again every year.

We are so blessed. I have learned many lessons this year. I questioned why God has closed a couple of doors in my life, but this weekend showed me that He is pouring out so many blessings into our lives. Blessings that I probably would have missed, if that door had not been closed.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A homeschooling update

I have really been playing with curriculum this year and am trying to find a perfect fit. It is not as easy as I thought it would be! So far we are using Bob Jones for Reading, Science and History. We are using Bob Jones for Michael's English. We are using Rod and Staff for Annalee's English. We are using Keys for Kids for Bible. Singapore for Math and Houghton Mifflin for Spelling. We are adding some extra books for history and science as we go along. I don't feel like it's coming together exactly how I envisioned. Michael has finished 4th grade English and Math. He is doing 6th grade spelling and it's still not much of a challenge for him. Annalee is coming along great, but I think the Singapore doesn't explain things quite enough for her age. I am thinking about trying Learning Language Arts Through Literature for her and maybe a different math. I am unsure whether I want to try Saxon or Horizons. I really need something different for Grammar. She has done nouns, verbs and pronouns this year(almost 200 pages out of the text book) and that's it. I do not know if I should move Michael up to 5th grade English or find another company and do 4th grade for him to make sure he got everything he needed. I think I am going to stick with Singapore math for him. They both love doing school at home. I love learning with them. I love the freedom to take a breather during the day if needed. I love that even though my car is in the shop, it doesn't mean I have to find someone to get them from school. It is hard for us to stay focused with the holidays coming. I just want to play!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My favorite holiday...

I am so ready for Thanksgiving to get here! I have my turkey and am so ready for Ernie to cook it! We found a 22 pounder! Do you think that'll be big enough? I am still trying to plan the side dishes. Stacie offered to bring dressing, praise the Lord! That is one thing that I do not know how to make! I have an issue with entertaining when we are having food. I tend to cook way too many things. I think it stems from when I was a child/teenager and went to my grandparents house for holidays. I was such a picky eater. I usually had a few pieces of turkey, maybe a spoonful of english peas and a roll. Then I would eat tons of dessert. I don't think I tried dressing at all until a couple of years ago. I need to make a definite menu and stop thinking of other things to add to it or we'll be running to the store Sunday afternoon, which I do not want!

As of right now, I think the plan is to have turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash(possibly), dressing, mac and cheese(Amy, is that what you're bringing? Ernie thought that was what you said), pork loin stuffed with sausage, potato salad, purple hull peas, green beans(maybe), deviled eggs and rolls.

For dessert, I think the plan is cheesecake, pecan pie, chocolate pie, chocolate chip cookies and ooey gooey pumpkin cake.

Do you think we believe in eating around here? What's going to be on your Thanksgiving table? I am so looking forward to spending Sunday afternoon with good company!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Three and a half hours!!!

Can I tell you how good it felt to have 3 1/2 hours out with some wonderful moms tonight? I smiled so much my cheeks hurt! I laughed so hard my sides hurt! At one time I thought I was going to have to run to the bathroom before I wet myself! I needed that for me tonight. I feel refreshed and relaxed. It was the first time I've been without Bella for that long. Ernie enjoyed his time with her. I do have to admit that I did love hearing that she crawled around looking for me. It is so nice to be able to share my fears that I might be messing my kids up by homeschooling them. It is so wonderful to feel validated by other moms that have been there.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Virus, virus Go Away!!!

This too shall pass is my mantra today! The last month or so has been a tough one on Bella. It seems like as soon as she starts to get well, something else hits. An ear infection, sinus infection, double ear infections and a virus. She's still running fever with this virus, but seems to finally be in better spirits this afternoon. Thank goodness! She didn't want anyone to hold her while she was sick, other than me. So, I'm hoping by tonight she'll be feeling a little better and be a little more relaxed than she has been.

One week down and one more to go of the mandatory cheerleading practices before the competition. We are halfway there! It will be a memory soon! Annalee's tired of practicing outside in the cold in the evenings. We will be happy when it's over! I'm glad she decided she wanted to stick with cheerleading, even though none of her friends were on the team from last year.

I cannot believe we only have two weeks til Thanksgiving! It feels like it should be at least a month away. I don't know where the time has gone!

Monday, November 10, 2008

My passion....

Our library had their first ever children's book sale. Oh my goodness! I could not believe the good deals to be found! I came home with 103 books! The best part? I only spent $25.75!!! There were so many books. As soon as you would get to the end of a table, you would realize that the workers were putting more books in the places where you had just added some to your box! I honestly think I could have easily spent the whole day there. I bought books to read for fun, but also bought several books that could count for history. There were many biographies about presidents. We are going to try to do a unit study on pilgrams and indians this month, so I bought some books about them. I even found a few that Ernie and I would like to read. My Mom came by yesterday and saw the books. She started talking to the kids about Christmas and asked Michael what he wanted. She told him that she didn't think he needed any more books. The look on his face made my heart ache. Just like his mom and dad, he thinks you can never have too many books to read!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Two more weeks, baby gate, chiropractor...

Two more weeks and cheerleading will be over! I feel like I can finally exhale. I overbooked extracurricular activities this year. I think since it was our first year homeschooling, I was afraid that Michael and Annalee were not going to get the interaction with other kids that they need. That was silly! They have had plenty interaction so far. Probably way more interaction than they had at school. Cheerleading has been nice, but we are all tired! I thought it was going to end 11/15, but the competition was pushed off another week.

Bella is starting to really explore the house now. I had to put up the baby gate to keep her out of the laundry room today, after she made a mess in the cats' water! It took about a minute for me to get laundry detergent in the wash and she was in there right behind me having a field day in the water bowl!

After taking her to the doctor for the 4th time in as many weeks and being told she had another ear infection(they were both infected this time), I decided to try the chiropractor. I have always felt like there was something bothering Bella. She screamed and cried more than she was happy. A lot of times if we were out of the house, she was happy. I am guessing because of the change of scenery and having new things to look at. After 9 long months, all of the crying and screaming was making me a sad, lonely, bitter person. I tried hard to hide it, because who likes someone that is never happy? I tried to avoid people because I honestly just wanted to hide. I did not want to talk to anyone. After the chiropractor did the scan of her back and neck, he could immediately see why she was colicky and had ear infections. He said her body was constantly under stress because it was not functioning correctly. Maybe that's why she never wanted me to sit her down? Maybe that's why she was comforted only when she was being held? Maybe she's not spoiled at all, but was uncomfortable all of the time? After two adjustments this week, she seems so much happier and calmer. I am able to put her down and potty without listening to her scream! I wish I would have taken her sooner! Life finally feels normal. I feel like my old happy, glass half full self. It is such a great feeling!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Crafts and trick or treating

We had a relaxed school day today with some crafts and a field trip to the pumpkin patch. Michael and Annalee loved doing their little projects. I need to try to find more ideas for crafts for them. They were just tiny things, but they enjoyed putting them together.

Bella hung out under the table while watching the kids work on their craft.

Annalee tried out two extra dance classes this afternoon. She was able to wear her costume and dance in it today. All of the girls were so cute!

Annalee and Helayna before dance class.

Waiting for class to start.

The kids in their costumes. Annalee was a witch, Michael was the grim reaper(minus the mask), Bella was a ballerina.

They scored tons of loot tonight! They will probably be eating candy for months! They had a great night with some of their favorite people!

The pumpkin patch

Better late than never, right? We finally made it to the pumpkin patch on Halloween. The older two kids had a great time playing in the hay. Bella thought the pumpkins were pretty interesting.