Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Boys

Here are some pictures from this weekend of the boys (mostly Gabriel).

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.
You notice that that picture is crooked? I broke the glass and now it won't hang straight. I'm going to have to get it fixed.

Yesterday, I wanted some oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies. I didn't want to cook. As a result, I decided that it was time for Gabriel to learn how to cook from a recipe. I found the recipe in the cookbook, handed it to him and sent him in the kitchen. Other than asking me where certain ingredients are kept, he did everything on his own, right up til it came time to scoop the cookies onto the cookie sheet. At that point, he realized there was something he didn't know how to do and the explanation in the cookbook didn't do it for him. So, Gary showed him how to do it.

The cookies are great!!!!

Then, today, he found an article in the newspaper he wanted to read. Doesn't he look grown up? He has matured so much in the last 9 months. I wish that Papa was around for him to talk to. Gabriel has gotten to a point in his life where he wants to talk, at length, about politics, the economy (LOL) and other pertinent issues. I imagine he would have spent hours on the phone with Papa. I think Papa would have been very proud of him. I know I am.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Birthday Wishes

My birthday is coming up soon, and I thought I would help you all out in your desire to get me something I really want!:) I made a list.

1. 3 hours of complete, uninterrupted silence.

2. 2 Granny Smith Apple trees

3. an indoor swimming pool

4. 8 tomato plants- 2 cherry, 3 roma, and 3 brandywine

5. This necklace

6. This shirt, or this one, or this one, this one, or this one.

7. 5 weeks of sunshine in Ft Walton Beach, FL, starting April 16th. (Can you get that one, weather man?)

8. 16 lavender plants

10. 4 used 4 drawer filing cabinets for my fabric stash.

11. For all of my pictures to be scrapbooked.:)

12. 6 beet plants

13. This house.

14. A new razor (I'm joking, Gary, I'm joking!!!!)


16. If I don't get the above, a gift card to Amazon would do nicely.

17. Wranglers

18. This apron. It is just too cute. H/T Dear Home Front

19. A girl child.

20. I know there's more, I just can't remember what.:)

Friday, March 21, 2008

What we're studying...

I know I haven't updated that sidebar in forever. So, I thought I'd do a quick update here before I update there.


Gabriel finished reading Fahrenheit 451 this week and it is his new favorite book. He also read Gilgamesh, the Hero. He enjoyed that. It was a quick read, but historically important to the time he is studying right now.

He finished Life of Fred and has gone back to Math U See. He has 12 lessons left and does approximately 2 lessons a week.

He is using Cyber Ed for science--doing Life Science.

He is still using Kingfisher Encyclopedia for history and joining us for our history lesson. They are synced so that we are studying the same things. He is just starting to write a paper each week about a history subject of his choice from his readings the week before. When I told him he was going to do this, he said, "Yay!" Huh? What? I thought you hated writing! I say, "Yay!"


Xavier is working his way through Magic Tree House books as his reading books.
I am reading The Little House on the Prairie books to him, which he LOVES.

He has about 50 lessons left to do for phonics. He does approximately 10 lessons a week, so we should be done with phonics in 5 weeks. Yay!!!!!

He has 12 lessons left to do of 2nd grade math. He is just flying through it. It is hard for his hand writing to keep up with his mind. Sometimes I write for him so that he can get more done. He sits there while I write the problem done and finishes answering half the problems on the page before I can write down the first problem. He's learning carrying right now. He's got estimation down, which is huge. Gabriel still doesn't get the purpose of estimation.


Dominic is about a fifth of the way into the phonics book. He is an instinctual reader and loves being able to read. It is humorous to me he is starting to read things around the house before he has even gotten out of the short vowel sounds. I am hoping to finish phonics with him next year. I really don't see why he wouldn't. Right now, he's only doing 2 to 3 lessons a week because he sometimes doesn't want to sit down and that's fine with me.

On the other hand, he always wants to do math. He is driving me nuts. He's taking off. He's got the concept of addition firmly down, although he hasn't gotten past +1 in his lessons. :)

That's it, I guess. If you have any questions, ask!

Week in Review 3-21-2008

Dominic almost always has a cat sleeping with him. Unless they are all outside, there is always one with him, sometimes all three.

Dominic had a bloody nose and was screaming bloody murder. Sasha did not appreciate her baby crying and climbed up on his lap to comfort him. Now, he always wants her to come when he gets hurt. She complies readily.

Why I Love Homeschooling:

Freedom to be who we want to be, even it means adding a little extra hair with a marker.

Time to play outside on nice days.

Gabriel is turning into a great big brother. After 6 months of slow change, he is wanting to spend time with them. He is slowly coming out of his 'shell' and being willing to really do and be what he wants to. He's also making wiser choices. He tends to be a follower. So, it is nice for him to be leading-in a good way. Today was a really nice day. The boys went out after they finished their morning work. About an hour later, Xavier came in for a pillow for Gabriel. He said that Gabriel had been reading "Robin Hood" to them. Apparently Xavier and Dominic were loving it. Other than a picnic lunch and frequent trips inside for water to soothe this throat, Gabriel spent 3 hours reading to his little brothers. I love that kid.

Do you see how skinny my 'Buddha Baby' has gotten?

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Over the past couple months, I've gotten sick a few times. It always seems to happen right when we've gotten on a roll with our schedule. I always sit there, miserable, and wish that I could hire a substitute. Well, today was one of those days.

But, instead of wishing I could hire a substitute, I did hire one. I hired....*drum roll please*

Gabriel! I payed him $1 a subject that he taught his brothers. Then, I paid all of them to "substitute" themselves by doing their work without me having to be there and help them. Usually, I like to be involved. There is a lot they can do without me being involved, but I usually at least sit in the school room while they work.

Today, Gabriel gave Xavier and Dominic their phonics lessons. He also read to them. He organized them and told them what they needed to do next. He made sure everyone was getting stuff done. He got his work done. I sat in my recliner and felt miserable. But, at least the schooling was getting done at the same time.

So, Gabriel earned $5. Xavier earned $1.50 (he only did phonics, spelling, and math). Dominic earned $1.00 (phonics and math).

I didn't have to pay any of them, I know. However, it was a nice incentive for an unusual day.

On another note, Dominic is driving me nuts. I can't keep enough work in front of that boy to keep him busy. Saturday, he comes to me and says, "When are we going to start school? I'm ready to do math." So, I sent him off to do some chores, promising to do math as a reward. When he came back, we did math. Then, he wanted to know when we were going to do phonics. I said, "Not today." So, he wanted to know if we could do more math. Ummm, no. I'm done for the week. LOL Go outside and play, kid.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


I said, "I know you're not eating." to my two boys at the table, while I sat in the living room.

Dominic whispered to Xavier, "She knows." in an amazed voice.LOL

Real Life-Heard Here

My children love quoting movies and spend an inordinate amount of time doing so. After a while, it can be wearing on the nerves, especially when they sing "The Morning Report" during the quoting, at the tops of their lungs.

I asked my children to talk about real life for a while. I'm thinking they'll talk about what great sledding they had, the Wii they want to buy, or what they're going to do that afternoon. Who was I trying to kid?

Gabriel said, "Okay. Xavier, who was the 16th president?" (His favorite thing to do is quiz his brothers on information he knows they don't know.)

Xavier replied, "I don't know. What do you think's going on in the war, right now?"

My children's concept of real life is very interesting.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Woohoo, what a week!

This has been an amazing week in so many ways. First, there is Xavier's reading. Last week, I suggested to him, in a fit of pique, that he try reading a Magic Tree House book. Up to this point, he was reading picture books. What I have discovered is that most picture books are written for adults to read aloud. As a result, they are not real compatible with early phonics learning. There is one series that I really like that is completely phonics based, are well written, and have beautiful illustrations. However, they're expensive, and we went through the set we had the first week we started reading. Xavier was complaining that he hated reading.

He started reading the Magic Tree House last week and loved it. I have, of course, read Magic Tree House books to him in the past. He has always like them. Now, however, he was jumping from having trouble reading picture books to reading a well written chapter book without much help. He told me he loves reading! He has taken to reading to Dominic at odd moments. I'll find them all over the house reading. This is a HUGE breakthrough for Xavier and we are very excited about it.

Next, came the excitement with the weather. Over the weekend, the temperatures were in the high 60s. Then, on Monday, we actually got up into the 70s. It was bliss. The kids were able to burn off some excess energy left over from a February made up of snow (none of which was worth playing in), rain, and ice. Monday, we waited to start school until it started raining at 3:00. It was wonderful.

Gary taught Xavier how to shoot the bee-bee gun he got for Christmas. He spent all afternoon Sunday shooting.

The boys got out the walking sticks Gramma gave them for Christmas.

Then, it..........
It started snowing Friday morning and snowed all day and all night and into this morning. The boys are ecstatic. We got about a foot. Xavier, Gabriel, and Gary shoveled the drive. Dominic and Xavier were outside before I even got up this morning. Dominic was in and out all day. Xavier spent most of the day outside, taking an hour break around lunch and stopping for the evening at about 5:00. He can't wait until tomorrow.

I got some great shots of deer last night.

Dominic was a snow man.

We're missing one of our snow shovels. I'm guessing it's buried under the snow.

Dominic getting out of his gear.

Dominic telling me about Dad making them a ramp at the bottom of the hill. He loved it! Thanks Dad!


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