Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Andrew's Birthday!

I can't believe how time flies. It seems that only yesterday, Andrew was a tiny baby, like this:

Now he's such a big boy! When Joshua was this age, Andrew was already on his way. Here is the obligatory slide show: (and here's a URL in case you have dial-up! http://picasaweb.google.com/jennilynn9/AndrewSBirthday)

I know, this update has been a long time coming. In my usual spurt style, I expect to post a couple more updates this week, one a unit retrospective on Animals and Their Worlds. So stop back in soon!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Summer Vacation

We went to Georgia for Independence Day week, including the weekends before and after. This is an annual event for us, which we look forward to greatly. John grew up spending parts of every summer in Georgia with his Papa and Nanny. So now he can continue that practice and share it with me and our sons.

Our "Granny", John's mom, also joined us from Louisiana.

Tuesday was one of our trip highlights. We took a day trip to Savannah and Tybee Island beach, along with Granny and John's cousin Jordan and his wife Tiffany. We all had a wonderful time, as you can see in the following slideshow (click on it to view). In case it doesn't work through dial-up, here is a link to the picasa site:

On a sad note, John's great-uncle Elmer went to be with the Lord. John served as a pall bearer at the funeral on Saturday. We are glad Elmer no longer has to battle Parkinson's disease. His new body won't lose its movement! Praise the Lord.

Joshua's Planting Science Project

This spring, when things were winding down with school, Joshua had an inspiration after we read a children's science book about plants.
He decided we needed to plant bean plants like the child in the book! I agreed, so we had a little science project with egg shell halves, soil, bean seeds and water. Click on the image below to see a slide show about our project. In case it doesn't work for dial-up, here is a link to the picasa page where it resides: http://picasaweb.google.com/jennilynn9/Planting

Before we went on vacation, we transplanted our plants to the backyard, where several of them still survive. We shall see whether they yield any fruit.

Meeting a WinterPromise Group Member!

In June, I had the privilege to meet Alisa Russell and her family! We had lunch at Oxmoor Mall in Louisville, as they were vacationing and visiting friends in the area. Here is a picture:

This is Andrew R, John, Alisa, Andrew C (In Mom's arms), Joshua and yours truly. It was so nice to chat about WinterPromise and homeschooling in general. What a nice afternoon.

Friday, June 8, 2007

The Whole Weight Watchers Thyroid Situation

If anybody has been reading closely, they will realize that while I have included a lot of pictures of my children and talked about our homeschooling, I have not shared any Weight Watchers thoughts. That is because I have been doing "not so hot" in that department. I am 20 lb plus up from my original goal weight, which I reached last year at this time. It was to a point I was becoming upset and depressed about it and wondering if being thin was something I could only do while nursing. Praise the Lord, that is not the case!

I had my annual evaluation with my endocrinologist (blood specialist), and it turns out my thyroid level is WAY low. My doctor said this condition causes low energy levels, soreness when exercising, weight gain and water retention. She said about half the twenty pounds will melt off with an increase in my medication. I am so looking forward to increased energy! I can't wait to be back to my goal weight, and now I know I am not a failure at weight maintenance. A medical problem was causing my weight gain! Just knowing that makes an incredible difference in my outlook. One symptom I have had lately that made me suspect my meds might be too low is feeling cold a lot. I'm looking forward to losing that symptom too!

So, if you have low energy levels, quick weight gain, and feel cold a lot, I highly recommend having your thyroid levels checked. If you can go to an endocrinologist that would be the best way to find out if you are hypothyroid. You need to have your T3, T4 and TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) levels checked for a full evaluation.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

My WinterPromise Curriculum and Why I Love It.

Our Animals and Their Worlds theme Science books.

These are the "One Small Square" Books which form the backbone of our Animals and Their Worlds theme. We will have 7 habitats to study: African Savanna, Woods, Swamp, Rainforest, Coral Reef, Arctic Tundra, and Desert. The books have information AND activities for us.

This is the "advanced" book set... I think they look extremely fascinating.

The DK Animal Encyclopedia gives us lots of details and wonderful illustrations about all the animals we will study.

These are "just for fun" read-aloud books, and our "God Made Everything Weird and Wacky/Strange and Slimy" devotional books.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Activity books

This is Mommy's part.... the activity books and Instructor's guide. I am beyond thrilled to have found WinterPromise, because they give me plenty of options for hands-on activities. The two books you see here are a little young for Joshua, so I will save some of the activities for Andrew's Kindergarten year!

Here are the "older" activity books. This is the part I need SOOO much help planning. I am not nearly brave or creative enough to come up with this stuff independently. If I have a schedule that tells me to "go outside and look for bugs" and then "draw them in your notebook", we will actually DO that! (I know that from our experience this year with Hands on Homeschooling K).

These are Joshua's activity books, and the Eric Carle poetry book. We read one page of animal poems each week. Joshua is already an Eric Carle fan and I am a huge poetry fan, so I know this book will be a winner. I am also really looking forward to using the "My Animal Notebook" pages. They will help us cement our knowledge of the "animal of the week."

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Language Arts and Chess

Sorry, this one is blurry... but you get the idea. "Real" books for our readers for first grade Language Arts. Joshua grabbed "Tentacles, Tales of the Giant Squid" when our box was delivered.

For the truly curriculum obsessed, a shot of our phonics, grammar and spelling books. ;-P

This we have already begun! Knights of the Square Table: A Knight's First Moves. Joshua has loved Chess from the first time his daddy taught him the moves. This will help him "beat Daddy" eventually.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Thunder over Louisville!!!

This is a yearly event for most people... we have missed it for too many years. Now that we have found a way to do it for free, without too big a crowd (by mooching hospital parking garage passes from my Mom ;-D) I think it will be a tradition for us. Well, weather permitting!

Be sure to click slide show! I put captions on some of the photos.
Thunder Over Louisville

Friday, April 20, 2007

Joshua can ride his bike!

This is big news, and I can't wait til dh John gets a "round tuit" and decides to upload the video to YouTube. Once that happens, I will edit and add a link, but for now you can just enjoy still photos of the learning process.

Joshua decided he wanted to learn to ride his bike without training wheels. We have been taking family bike rides in the evening, all the way down to Andrew on his little 12 inch bike with training wheels. The boys are so cute in their helmets and Joshua always makes sure to stay way ahead and be the winner, getting home first! After we get home, Joshua has asked for two-wheel lessons. So John obliges and runs up and down the street with a hand on Joshua's hood. But on Tuesday, Joshua LEARNED how to go by HIMSELF! Wooo hooooooo!

Now every day the boys are taking bike rides during recess. I stay afoot so I can keep Andrew out of traffic. (Not that we get a lot on our dead end!)

I will update more another time... I am all excited over our new WinterPromise materials which we will use for our homeschool next fall. I will spread them out and take pictures, as well as tell why they are so exciting to me. Now that I have written that, it obligates me to follow through!

Monday, April 2, 2007

I finally had Andrew's two-year-old portraits taken.

These were taken at Portrait Innovations. I have found no place cheaper or better. Andrew "ate it up." He kept asking, "More kick-chers?" I realize these are huge, LOL. If you prefer to see all 50 poses in a slideshow, click on the thumbnail below.

Andrew's Portraits

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Grandaddy and Granny Came!

For a time we were worried that Grandaddy and Granny wouldn't get to stay with us, but Andrew got over his bout with that icky virus just in time! Late Wednesday evening, John's folks arrived, just barely past the boys' bedtime. So when Joshua and Andrew awoke Thursday morning, they found Granny in the kitchen!

Granny brought a boatload of treats, as usual. From Easter baskets to Ack-tiffities for the boys to create and a super duper birthday present for Joshua, she kept up her pattern of spoiling all of us beyond all reason. Besides all the presents for the little ones, she also presented us with a huge Bundt style banana bread, a pumpkin pie, and 3 swags of flowers to grace our living room. Thank you, Granny!

We had a wonderful visit, and Stephen and Esther joined us whenever they could. Stephen became an old 26 year old man on Friday, so we had DQ ice cream cake after our lasagna supper on Saturday.

We will miss you, Grandaddy and Granny, but we are glad you get to come back in May or sometime soon!

Here are some pictures of the boys with their Ack-tiffities, then one of Joshua with his Lego Star-Wars Walker (the infamous birthday gift).

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Hmmm... Can I be a "Blogger"?

I am thinking if I can keep my act together, a blog would be an awesome way to keep my far-flung friends and family updated on our lives. Considering I have broken countless resolutions to journal in the past, it is worth trying one more time!

Right now, life is pretty vanilla bland. Joshua is getting over a virus, poor boy.

This will be our last bland week for a while. John's parents are coming to visit us from Wednesday through Sunday (all the way from Louisiana!), so that will be exciting.

A week from Monday we look forward to seeing my aunts, Marilyn and Gretchen from Ohio. Maybe we will see "Uncle" Norm and his boss Jason that weekend as they speed through to check out the farm equipment show in Louisville.

The last week of March we get to have fun with Nathanael during his spring break (and he gets to sample homeschooing for the week!)

Then April includes Easter and a visit from John's cousins Marcus and Jordan (and Jordan's wife Tiffany). That will be a blast too!

So our life is going from vanilla bland to salsa spicy in a short period. I'm hanging on for the ride!