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Laura
Follower of Christ. Wife to Adam. Mama to Joshua (9), Abigail (8), Esther (7), Hannah (6), Noah (5), Joseph (3), Peter (2), James (9 months), and Blessing #9 due late August. Soli Deo Gloria!
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Adam and Laura

Adam and Laura

Joshua Addison

Joshua Addison

Abigail Lauren

Abigail Lauren

Esther Rebecca

Esther Rebecca

Hannah Ralene

Hannah Ralene

Noah Evans

Noah Evans

Joseph Patrick

Joseph Patrick

Peter Edwin

Peter Edwin

James Emil Robert

James Emil Robert

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Routine and School

Taking a spelling test


A few weeks ago I posted about how important I think it is to have a schedule. I love having a strict daily routine, and although I'm okay with ditching it occasionally, our family works much better if we have one in place. Right before we started school I sat down, did some prioritizing and brainstorming, and budgeted out our time in a way that I thought would work well for us. Adam and I discussed it and did a little tweaking, and we've been using it pretty faithfully since then. It's working well for us, though I make little changes here and there based on our needs and Joseph's nap routine.

The big 3 with a science experiment. :)

Several people have asked if I would share our day-to-day schedule, so here it is in a nutshell. This is, of course, our goal. This doesn't all happen perfectly every day. I think the part that is most susceptible to change right now is my rising time and what I do first thing in the morning. Joseph is still exclusively nursing, which is wonderful (more on that later), but he requires a lot of feedings, which often leaves me tired in the morning. So I don't always get up as early as I'd like. But this is what I shoot for.

*6:15 Read Bible/Pray (this sometimes gets pushed to later in the day if I've been up a lot at night, or if the children wake up earlier than expected)
*6:45 Exercise (this one has not been happening much at all lately, though now that the weather is cooler we'll start taking a mid-morning school break to get outside for some exercise)
*7:15 Get everyone cleaned, dressed and beds made
*8:00 Breakfast
*8:30 Morning chores (I have a loose schedule for cleaning certain parts of the house on certain days, but we mostly just clean whatever needs to be cleaned. We all work together on this...usually all in the same room doing different jobs.)
*9:30 School
*12:30 Lunch and clean-up
*1:30 Naptime stories and naps for Hannah and Noah (Joseph's nap schedule is a little in limbo)
*1:45 School and Piano
*3:00 Quiet time for children; cleaning and computer (if time allows) for Mama
*4:00 Playtime or work-with-Mama time for children; dinner prep, laundry, school planning, etc. for Mama
*6:30 Dinner and clean-up
*7:15 Family Worship
*8:00 Bedtime for everyone except one child (who gets "Mama and Papa Time")
*8:30 All children in bed; our evenings are spent doing any number of different things, depending on what needs to be done. Sometimes Adam has to study, sometimes I have to practice, and sometimes neither of us have to do anything so we drink homemade mocha frappes and talk. :)
*10:00 The goal is to be in bed by this time, but that doesn't always happen. I get a second wind after the children go to bed because I can get so much done when they're sleeping! But if I go to bed too late then I pay for it the next day, so I try to stick to 10:00.

So there you have it, for whatever it's worth!

We also have a schedule during our schooling hours that we stick to pretty closely. We are in our 8th week of doing Kindergarten and 1st grade together, and it is going well. It's hard to believe that we'll be done with the 1st quarter after one more week! We start at 9:30 with Bible. That consists of reading the designated chapter in our plan, working on a catechism question, memorizing the current Scripture passage (right now Psalm 119:17-24), and reading/discussing a portion of For Instruction in Righteousness (right now we're going through the section on disobedience). I love this book! It has tons of Scripture references to read on each topic, and it helps the children see the definition of the sin, the curses relating to it, and the blessings that come from resisting the temptation to give in to that particular sin. It is a great tool for everyday Deuteronomy 6 style child rearing. It is not only helpful for the children, but it is also aids me in recalling Scripture as I am dealing with discipline issues throughout the day. It has been wonderful to see the children become more and more aware of sin, grace, salvation, discipleship, and how being a Christian is much more than a magical moment when you pray the "sinner's prayer". This book really saturates the reader in Scripture, and our understanding has deepened a lot because of that. Yesterday Abigail got all teary-eyed and said that she wished she could go back and start her life over because she has disobeyed so much. That was a perfect lead-in for a discussion about grace, mercy, salvation, and Christ. Joshua seemed relieved after that and said that he doesn't want to start his life over because he's ready to be 16. Haha!

Writing sentences and illustrating them.

We continue our school day with Spell to Write and Read. I wrote a brief review of this last year, and I'm very happy with it. Joshua and Abigail are reading well...especially Abigail. Her handwriting and spelling are great! Joshua is doing well too, but he's a little more interested in science, history, geography, and going outside to play. :) Cursive First goes hand-in-hand with SWR and is another one that I love. Esther is learning cursive now and she's doing wonderfully! I will try to post an example of the handwriting that comes from using this program. I'm amazed at how nicely 4, 5, and 6 year-olds can write!

Learning how to look at a toy without crossing our eyes. :)

We still use RightStart Math, and I'm very happy with that as well. It focuses on understanding math and being able to apply it to life as opposed to a bunch of facts to memorize and spit back out.

We are just reading and discussing lots of books for science, history, geography and literature right now. The children pick up so much just from reading, and I'm learning a lot too! We just finished a book on the skeletal system, which Papa explained in better detail over dinner, and Joshua and Abigail were talking about cartilage non-stop to the pediatrician the other day. :) Everyone (including Joseph, if he's awake) participates in Bible and all of the reading aloud, and they are welcome to sit in on SWR and math if they would like to. Hannah likes to "do school" too, so I use a Kumon tracing book with her. My parents gave it to her for her birthday, and it's great for developing the motor skills needed to write letters later on.

Reading Carry On, Mr. Bowditch and cleaning up toys.

One thing that we have started recently in the evenings is "Mama and Papa Time". Adam and I really enjoy spending one-on-one time with each of the children, and they love it! They get to pick what they want to do with us. It's usually a puzzle or game, but sometimes we'll watch a classical music DVD, help Papa fix something, go to the grocery store with Mama, or something similar.

Esther likes the Memory Game, and she's really good at it! I have to work really hard if I want to beat her.


Joshua likes "Guess Who". He's funny when he plays it too. He asked Adam, "Is your person wearing earrings?". Adam said "no", and Joshua said, "Oh, well mine is!" :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Rome

Adam recently had a 2-week oral surgery rotation in Rome...GA, of course. :) We joined him for the second half of it and had a great time! Here are some pictures from our week.

Adam picked out a great hotel room (suite) with 2 king beds and a sleeper sofa. No one had to sleep on the floor! None of us mind sleeping on the floor, but a hotel is one place where I'd rather avoid that.

I was excited to get to spend some time with Emily. She was so gracious to have us (with all of our chaos!) in her home and we had a wonderful time! We visited Berry College one day. Joseph enjoyed playing with Zion! (That's Emily's mom behind Joseph. :) And that's Emma's pretty red hair behind Zion. He doesn't really have red hair growing out of one side of his head!)

This was at the water wheel at Berry College. The children enjoyed throwing pebbles into the water and looking at the tadpoles. Noah enjoyed trying to fall into the pond. Thankfully we managed to avoid that!

We went to these water steps, which the children loved!

The sound of the water quickly put Zion...

...and Joseph to sleep.

There was a wading pool at the bottom, which was perfect for the younger children...and the older ones too, as you can tell.

Maggie and Noah had an in-depth discussion about the boat on the river. :)

There was a neat fountain area in downtown Rome that we found. Noah discovered several times that you shouldn't stand right on top of the fountain, because you never know when it's going to spray you in the face!

Here is the wild hair-do that is a result of being sprayed in the face!

Exploring. :)

Once again, the sound of the water put Joseph to sleep. I was amazed, because he usually has a difficult time sleeping anywhere except for his bed.

Everyone enjoyed the freedom to run around after spending a lot of time in the van!

We were blessed to be able to get together with some blogging friends! We all (including husbands) met up at a park for a picnic one evening. There were 6 parents and 19 children, and we had a wonderful time! It was us, Emily and her family, and the Muncks , who we were excited to meet for the first time! I've been reading the Muncks blog for a few years, and it was great to get to meet Laura and her husband and ten children face to face!
If you click on the above picture, you can see Joseph's face better. The look on his face pretty much sums up how my younger 4 were behaving at the picnic! We had already had a fun-filled day with Emily and her children, and by the time the dinner hour rolled around there was at least one of our children (sometimes more than one!) melting into tears over something at any given moment. Haha! Oh well. We still had a great time!


New friends!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Park


There's a great park nearby that has a "splash pad", two playgrounds, and a small pond with a walking track around it. The children love to go there, and we've been quite a few times recently. It's still so hot here, and the water is the perfect way to cool off after playing.


Esther loves animals! She found a frog, which Hannah wasn't so sure about!


Gross! Who on earth would let their child do that!?! :)

Playing in the water

A boy and his bike. It doesn't get much better when you're a six year-old boy!

Friday, September 10, 2010

4 Months!






Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Giveaway


Christine is hosting a giveaway for a Strawesome Decorative Smoothie Straw on her blog! We drink a lot of green smoothies and a few a lot of mocha frappes, and these straws would add the perfect touch to one of those. Go here for more info and to enter. The giveaway ends tomorrow, so hurry!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Hairy


I heard Joshua giggling the other day and walked in the room to see what was so funny. He was playing with Joseph's hair. :)


Joseph loves his big brothers and sisters!

The Zoo

Adam had a couple of days off in between the summer and fall semesters a few weeks ago. We made a trip to the zoo on one of those days, and we had a great time, in spite of the stifling heat! We hope to go again soon now that the weather is starting to cool off a little bit. We renewed our membership this year and it pays for itself in 2 visits. It's great!

Sisters :)

Milking the cow

Looking for the monkeys

Joseph. Check out those jowls. :)

Feeding the lorikeets. As you can see, Abigail was mortified that one of them landed on her!

Riding the carousel

Hannah

Joshua loves having Papa home!!

Enjoying the great outdoors!