Friday, February 27, 2009

Whispers of spring

Guess what he is holding?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Smile! Cutie Pie Loses FIRST Tooth

Cutie Pie has been waiting for this day since sister lost her first tooth 2 years ago! I love little moments like these!

"Mama, my loose tooth keeps getting in my way."

"Let me have a look. Yep, your permanent tooth is already growing in behind it. Mama can pull that tooth."

"Did Uncle Jack really tie a string to your tooth and the other end to the door knob and slam the door shut?" Cutie Pie asked w/ big wide eyes.

"No, Uncle Jack just use to tease mama. He was actually a very good tooth puller. He pulled all my teeth that I can remember."

"OK mama. I will let you try."

After several attempts and loosening it more, I had to call the neighbor for some orajel. Praise God for lending neighbors.

Meanwhile Sweetness said, "Mama getting me to do math really is like pulling teeth! I can't watch anymore!"

Oh, sigh...

Orajel was applied and taking effect...

"You know" I said matter of factly, "perhaps the tooth fairy is just too busy tonight . . . or maybe you don't believe in the tooth fairy?"

"I believe mama! I believe. I believe the tooth fairy is YOU!" giggle giggle giggle

"OK! Well, so long as you believe. Now hold real still."

YANK! POP! Out it came!

"Is it out? It's out!!!! Sissy, it's out! It came out!" he exclaims running down the stairs.

about 1/2 hour later...

"Mama where do you want me to put this tooth so you can get it easy?" asked Cutie Pie.

"The top of the dresser will work just fine."

Then as I tucked Sweetness in she asks, "Mama, can I stay up and watch you play tooth fairy?"

"Absolutely not! I might be the tooth fairy, but you will NEVER see my wings," I replied as I fluttered out the door.

Next morning!!!

"Mama! Mama! The tooth fairy left me a note and $5!!"

I JUST LOVE SIX! And I miss my dear brother Jack!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Encouragement from God's Word

I had the most precious time with the Father this a.m. Lots of repentence, accepting forgiveness, and plunging forward once again and not looking behind. I had so much personal help to ask for as well as other requests for my dear loved ones. I know the Lord hears my every prayer and must rest in His peace. But still the tears would not stop and I prayed the Lord would speak to me through His Word. This is where I opened my Bible

Nehemiah 8 (upon the Israelites return from exile -- a time of remorse and repenting)

9 Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, "This day is sacred to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or weep." For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.
10 Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

11 The Levites calmed all the people, saying, "Be still, for this is a sacred day. Do not grieve."

12 Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.

The scripture goes on to describe how they celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles, which again confirms in my heart that this is the Lord's direction for our HS. One way The Feast of Tabernacles is celebrated is to sleep outdoors in tents (as they did when they came out of Egypt) to commemorate the Lord's deliverance. We're excited about sleeping outside with EVE!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Does this count for art and science?

After my long 'school' post I started thinking how our HS lacks in science and arts and crafts. But are we really lacking?

Presenting Robin Hood and Maid Marion

Presenting Queen Esther

This is stretching it a bit, but does observing the dexterity and speed of a dog count for science?

We went to town and got personalized tags with our ph# for Eve and turned her from her leash at the creek today. First, she spun around in circles and was awestruck that she was FREE! That silly ole gal ran into the water, got her hind legs stuck in the muck, pulled herself up and darted up the steep mountainside in a matter of 5 seconds. She disappeared for awhile and it was all I could do to keep Sweetness from crossing barefoot through the creek to go lookin' for her. Finally after what seemed eternity, but was only a few minutes, that lassie came running back as fast as her legs would carry her for another bite of bologna! I only wished I had a picture to share, but the hand that once carried a camera now hold the leash, perhaps not for long.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Dear Cutie Pie!

Celebrating 6 was a lot of fun! We did "cars" again. He's not really a Lightening McQueen fan, just knew he had to pick out something "boyish" less his sister have a coniption if he chose Disney Princess'! I can't seem to make Sweetness understand how blessed she is that he actually wants to play dolls with her instead of using them for target practice.

Anyways,,, guess which Disney Pixar Cars character he loves the best? Mater! Yes, the broken down, antique tow truck! No, no, the remodeled Mater with the new paint job would not do. And of cousre Treasure Hunter came through on finding the 'old' Mater truck.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Heartfelt Home**school** 2009 Update!

I have been researching home education for about 5 years now. I have tried different methods, adhered to various philosophies and grown immensely! The greatest lesson I have learned is not to get uptight or anxious, but to give thanks in everything, pray without ceasing, and rejoice evermore! (I Thes 5:17-19)! My main goal in educating my children is to prepare them for the Lord’s service on earth and for their Heavenly home that awaits them.

I recently read an awesome book, Heart of Wisdom by Robin Sampson. I gleaned many useful tips from her book! Exploring how Hebrews educated their children and how to use the Bible as the main text in your homeschool opened a door to a place where I finally felt comfortable. She is also very pro-unit study using a Charlotte Mason approach (if that makes sense). I aspire to be the unit-study homeschool mom, but am not there yet! I just don’t know if I will ever be that organized and disciplined to cover all subjects in one unit.

So, this is what Heartfelt Homeschool looks like in 2009:

Because the Bible is so very important we use it as our main text. My desire is to root my children’s hearts and minds in God’s Word. I want them to have a good grasp of Biblical history and God’s Word, coupled with hopes and prayers they not be led astray by false doctrines. Once this foundation is set, we will explore world history as it fits into and is intertwined with Biblical History. This is where we are currently.

Biblical History:
We have composed a timeline on our wall (and within a 3 ring binder) with these categories: Creation, Patriarch, Exodus, Conquest, Judges, Kingdom, Exile, Return, Silence, Gospel, Church, Missions. Each time we read a Bible story we place our coloring page in the correct category. We are currently studying Patriarch showing how Israel, through a promise from God, became a people, nation and state. We are also studying church history through the book of Acts and am looking forward to how the Bible ends again with the Jewish people (and the Gentiles ; )!

We are also learning and celebrating Biblical/Jewish Holidays!

Physical ED!
Being physically healthy is another great importance! I am always trying to learn better cooking/eating habits. And daily exercise via walking/running otudoors is a HAVE TO at Heartfelt! If it's bad weather, then we're dancing indoors to Praise and Worship Music.

Each child has their own Bible verse that they handwrite weekly, read daily, and recite daily for memorization. Sweetness is copying and then reading her verse in cursive! Cursive is becoming a lost handwriting art, but still many use it and I want my children to be able to read cursive!

Read Alouds / Phonics
Aside from our daily Bible reading, we are reading Missionary Stories by Mildred Martin and Sweetness and I are reading the Merry Adventures of Robin Hood! I am reading the unabridged version by Howard Pyle and Sweetness enjoys reading the abridged version. Bethanie is also continuing phonics practice with Explode the Code.

Cutie Pie is learning to read using Explode the Code for phonics and reading his Bible verse along with me as I run my finger under the words (whole language approach). We enjoy reading various picture books together and making crafts or acting out the books.


This is a tool used for comprehension (instead of multiple choice questions!) Sweetness and Cutie Pie retell the stories from our read alouds. Some days I copy each word the child dictates then have them illustrate or color a page relating to their narration.

I am amazed at how well Sweetness’ spelling is progressing! I dictate a sentence from one of our read-alouds. Sweetness writes from my dictation. We review her writing and I praise her efforts of correctly spelled words. Then I show her the misspellings,give her rules or helpful hints, and word build with other similar spelled words. We compare the words she spelled correctly with incorrect spelled words and she is pleased to see she spells really well! Then she re-copies the corrected version! This is working very well!

Cutie pie is spelling up a storm in his own little story making world. I am translating and saving all his little writings in a little notebook. We won’t start correcting his inventive spelling for a few more years.

Sweetness is working on memorizing her addition facts using Math - It Game. We are also exploring multiplication.
Cutie Pie is doing a workbook titled Word Problems with Fantastic Frogs.
Of course they learn math just using it everyday -- measurements, calendar, shapes, etc… we did an awesome geometry unit not long ago from Hands on Math and I am thinking of ordering their Clock - Telling Time Unit next.

This is the area where I feel I fall short. We are getting better at reading our Ranger Rick and Backyard Magazines that G’ma B subscribed for us. But when the days of winter are 50-70 degrees our science time is literally spent in the backyard. Treasure Hunter does various electrical experiments with Cutie Pie!

But more snow is on the way….

Foreign Language
We are learning Latin using Song School of Latin 2-3 times weekly. But realy would like to learn Hebrew and Greek as these are the original languages of the Bible.

Language Arts/Grammar
This is a subject we are not currently covering formally. I emphasize capitalization and punctuation during writing exercises. And we talk about nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs while reading. Classical literature is an awesome introduction to grammar as the word pictures authors create are so vivid and imaginative! “WOW that was an awesome set of adverbs”. We will be more formal with this subject in the middle-high school years.

Did I cover it all???? Last but not least I must say that having your children with you all hours of the day presents many learning opportunities. There are so many character building and life skills they learn from being at home doing chores, playing together, building bonds etc. And I set the example for them each day! The best example is how we all, in our sinful fallen state, fall short each day and must ask forgiveness and thank God for His mercy!

And may I NEVER forget to thank God for the privilege to thank God for the privilege to home educate our children. And for my hardworking husband who supports our homeschool choice!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Moonlight Sledding

I don't have any pictures for this one, so I'll attempt to paint one. Treasure Hunter boards the runner sled, takes off down the icey slope, hits the tree root, sparks fly, hits the leaves, more sparks fly. I was thinking we would have a forest fire! But thankfully it stops. The kids and I are hooting and howling and holding our ribs!!

Then Cutie Pie jumps aboard, and down they go at lightening speed! "Guess where we landed??? We crashed into some trees!" exclaimed Cutie Pie with wide big wide eyes! That was the picture he refused to pose for -- that shows the scratches across his forehead. So next time, instead of following the sparking path that leads to a crash landing in the trees, they begin at the back of our house, slide around the narrow path of the basement door, then across the icey slope, sailing by with the greatest of ease. Soon Sweetness realized they were having fun and not crashing into anymore trees, so she joined the fun too.

ME? I was sitting on the porch steps w/ Eve in my lap (my hands in her sweater)staying toasty warm! Well, I did take a few rides down in the plastic sled, but nothing dramatic to report.

We sure enjoyed the snow this week! But it will start to melt today and be gone by Sunday when the temps will reach 60 degrees! I LOVE VIRGINIA.

I must also report that we're still maintaining a school schedule. Here are the Bible verses Cutie Pie is reading and memorizing!

Israel did look for a law that could make them right with God. But they didn't find it. Why not? Because they didn't look for it by faith. They tried to get it by working for it. Romans 9:31-32 (NiRV)

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. Hebrews 11:3

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

2's Company! 3's a CROWD?