Friday, September 25, 2009

Curriculum we love

Here are some of our curriculum choices this year. If I've listed it here, that means we love it! The kids love it... I love it!

Rosetta Stone Spanish: The easiest way to learn a language... for the student AND for Mom! Believe the commercials.

Truthquest History: The ultimate living history book list! If you enjoy learning history through literature, this is an incredible resource. Michelle Miller's commentaries through the guides are extremely helpful.

Teaching Textbooks: Everyone I know who is using this curriculum for math is ecstatic. The teaching DVDs are easy to navigate and lessons are taught very well. My kids rarely need any additional help. And they love the graded lessons and quizzes and the grade book feature.

A Reason for Handwriting: This is great for practicing handwriting for any elementary grade (beginners through cursive). Where other handwriting books may give sample sentences to practice, A Reason gives scripture verses as the copy.

Institute for Excellence in Writing: This is a big hit with many homeschool families I know. This is our first year to use it, so I'm still in the learning process. I am very excited about it! I've tried teaching writing on my own without any curriculum at all because English is my favorite subject, and it's time to call in some reinforcements. Gotta love the DVD teacher when things get tricky!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Six weeks!

My sweet little baby number six is six weeks old today! Oh, could I be any more in love?

I'm so glad someone told me many years ago, that those first six weeks are a blur and that it's hard to mess things up too badly. I was advised that at that point, it is more of a beginning time for starting good habits with the baby, and that the goal for the first six weeks is to just survive. That is a big relief to any new mother who is stressing about "doing things right".

I actually usually write off the first three months, myself. Until Janie, all of my babies have had pretty bad colic for the first three months. So, by this time, I have come to expect life to revolve around caring for a newborn for three months, and letting a lot of other seemingly important things slide. OK. I also let a lot of important things slide. I'll admit it.

Janie doesn't have colic. That's just a miracle that I'm still trying to even comprehend! So, I'm quite excited about being able to establish a new six-kid schedule sooner than I had anticipated. The kids are doing school again... at least about 80% of what I would like them to be doing. Yay for checkmarks on those daily schoolwork checklists! It's good to see those again. And since it's really the beginning of a new school year, they are MOSTLY excited and motivated to be studying again.

Besides schoolwork, I'm anxious to get 3 square meals a day going! In anticipation of a new baby, I bought a pantry full of things that the kids could fix for themselves. So, there's been a lot of spaghettios and macaroni and cheese eating going on around here. That's a far cry from our Maker's Diet days! Sydney did learn how to make healthy homemade mac'n cheese when we ran out of boxed. Kurt has been making his own extremely low-calorie meals since Janie was born, which is when he started his diet. We have benefited from some of his cooking, but he's on a different schedule than us, so many times he's offered us great healthy stuff but we had already eaten.

So, now that we have made it to the six week mark, and life is starting to feel a little more like normal, or at least our new normal, I am adding two more tasks to my days besides mothering a newborn. 1.) schoolwork and 2.) feeding my children vegetables. Any other moms out there have such high aspirations as me? Ha ha!

I actually have my own school work to do this year, too. So, I've got papers to write in all my "spare time"... good one, huh? I'm finishing up my degree, finally. Thankfully, I'm able to do almost all of it from home, and Kurt and the kids are very supportive, so they don't mind pitching in and helping with things so I can have some computer time.

Well, this post was supposed to be an encouragement to moms everywhere who have newborns. I know so many right now who have brand new babies in their homes! But instead it became more of an update of my life. Sorry! I really do want to encourage moms with tiny ones that even though it's a tiring and trying time, it is only temporary. Life moves so quickly, and it's alright to extend some grace to ourselves. This is a precious time, and it's quite alright to take things slowly, lower expectations for a little while, and drink in this moment that will someday be a memory...

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Cocoon

A sweet lady at church made Janie a "cocoon" as her shower gift. It's an adorable wrap to take baby pictures with. I've been trying to get a good picture in it since she was born over five weeks ago. Between the full days that come with a newborn and houseful of kids, waiting for her face to clear up a bit from the newborn pimples, and unsuccessful attempts at taking the pics, it took me a while. But here she is... emerging from her cocoon! She wasn't happy about posing at first, but after nursing her to sleep in the cocoon, we tricked her into it. I took my little sleepy girl over to the bed to pose her while Sydney grabbed her hat, the camera, and the blanket to lay her on.

Baby toes are my favorite!!!

Got her all posed...

Sweet little angel...

I love her so much!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My six

Here are a few pics taken recently. Sydney took all of them, except the one of her and Janie, of course. Thanks Syd!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Janie Kate

Sweet little Janie came out to meet us on Wednesday, August 12th. She was born at 11:02 a.m. weighing 7 lbs 6 oz. She tied her big brother Andrew for biggest baby status. She tied her big brother Austin for overdue baby status. She came 5 days after her due date.

It feels really neat to have so many girls in the house! She has dark hair like her biggest sister, Sydney, which is a little blast from the past, since I haven't had a dark-headed baby since 2000!

For now, life is all about Janie! Our days revolve around her.... filling her belly, burping her, wrapping her up, holding her close, breathing in those baby smells, trying to make her smile, changing diapers, and peeking in at her while she sleeps. I know very well how quickly these precious moments fly by!

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