Monday, June 20, 2011

if you want to keep up...

Head on over here.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

100th day of school (back in January)

We always celebrate the 100th day of school. We like to dress if crazy clothes and count things by the hundred and even do some goofy hair dos. This was the day that Tristen started to feel yucky (little did we know it was the beginning of mono).

We found, counted and lined up 100 cars. Tally and Tyce grouped them into groups of ten. Even Tate had fun and participated. Poor Tristen was able to get up for the pictures and then...she was back in bed for almost 5 weeks of sickness. January and February were really long months for our family.

Go SCIENCE !!!!!!!!

We have been using a different science curriculum for school this winter and have really enjoyed it. I bought this book years ago and it has sat on our shelf since then. I like that I can read a lesson to the girls in about a half an hour while they take notes. Then we go over the questions and gather our supplies for any hands on activity. They are not really "experiments" but more like activities. Here Tally is making a FLOOD in a jar. Learning about what might have happened after Noah's flood.

This activity was learning about glaciers and ice. Good thing we had some snow to help out with this experiment. So far, we have only had one experiment not work out well. We tried to grow crystals and it just didn't work.

Most recently we have been studying earthquakes and volcanoes and tectonic plates. How timely that the huge earthquake in Japan is part of our current events so we have an example to talk about.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Praying for JAPAN

With all the news these days I am sure you are praying for the situation in JAPAN with the massive earthquake last week. Please continue to pray for the situation, and also for the people of JAPAN. I am praying that this event will soften the hearts of the people there and allow them to respond to God. Also, please pray for my sister and her family. They are church planters there in Tokyo. Although their family is safe, it is a difficult situation and there is much need for prayer.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


...I couldn't have the discussion ONE MORE TIME of WHO would sit WHERE for meals. It is official assigned seating and it has helped with the bickering between the siblings.

someone's learning math

He LOVES numbers...LOVES to write...LOVES the blocks...LOVES the video lesson...just not sure about listening to Mom as the teacher.

***sorry about the fuzzy photos...still learning my new camera***

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

***S*N*O*W***D*A*Y ***

We got some S*N*O*W !!!! This is our second "big" snow for this area. We even had a dusting on Christmas day this year. As you can imagine...we are LOVING it. I hunted for some snow pants for the boys (um...yes, that is Tate in bright PINK pants). We got boots and sleds and we were ready for the snow.

The school system here has been closed for 2 days and the kids had a BLAST playing out in the snow. Aside from a few fainting spells from Tissy (note to self...too much bundling makes you really hot and fainty), the past few days have been great.

We are soaking up the change of seasons here and trying to enjoy everything that it has to offer. The kids made snowmen, had hot cocoa, played out doors for hours, and conked out at night. We even skipped school and took advantage of the play time.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Thanksgiving Day...2010

November 25, 2010...a BIG day for our family. Tyson's 5th birthday...his first birthday that was celebrated...our family all together for the first time with both sets of grandparents...a year ago we saw our boy's picture for the first time...our world was changed forever...

It turned out to be a nice time...but a HARD time too. November was a hard month for our family. Lots of processing. Lots of healing. Lots of firsts (overnight guests, trip out of town, changing rooms...). As I look back at these pictures just a mere 6 weeks later, I am grateful for the time together, but thankful we are doing better now than we were a few months ago.

None of it is easy, but God's grace is sufficient. And we are always leaning on Him in EVERY way.

Friday, January 7, 2011

a visit from the HOFF family

We had our very dear and special friends come and visit back in November. We have know Carl and Shaleen before any of us had kids. I just love these people as if they were born into our family. We have served with them at church, raised our kids together, laughed together and now...we live thousands of miles apart. But that hasn't stopped us from getting together. They have now visited us in 2 different states. And now...our kids are growing up and still have a great time together.We visited a local plantation home and got a great private tour. Our guide filled us all in on local history and the teacher in me loved it all. This beautiful old home is right here in our town.

And then...on the back side of the property is an old cemetery and log homes. Such extremes to the history. Don't you just love the late afternoon sun? Beautiful.

A big thank you to the Hoff family for coming all this way to reconnect and meet our new boys. We love you and wish we lived close enough to see you each week at church.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Can you tell I LOVE nativity sets???

Every year I am on the hunt for the perfect nativity set. I really want to get the Fisher Price Little People nativity set (that one NEVER goes on sale). Last year I got the one where the kids play in the sand. This year I found a nativity set from Ethiopia carved out of wood (in the middle). And one of my favorite ones is the simple one made out of flower pots.

Tristen has been spending Tuesday afternoons at Grammy's house. She goes there before her art class. Each week they work on a different project. Sometimes they cook or bake. Often they will make an art project together. A few weeks ago I sent her with some supplies I had saved up to make a nativity set. I have had these ideas to make this set for years but never got around to it. Good thing Grammy was willing to help her out.

When Tissy came home with her project, I just about melted. I LOVE it. It turned out so cute. They did a great job. I am hopeful that this will keep for years and years.

living nativity

Chuck built a beautiful (but very simple) creche for our churches living nativity. I am always so proud of how he works at each of his sets that he has built. This one looked really big in our garage, but once he got it out on the location, it didn't look so huge.

We woke up on Saturday to a surprise snow and he bundled up to move his creche and manger to the church. With a few decorations the set looked quite authentic. About every 5 weeks, the church offers "Bethlehem Marketplace". They set up a biblical marketplace for the kids to experience some food, crafts and story in a historical setting.

The kids LOVED the animals. Tissy spend an hour walking the horse around and Tate finally warmed up to the goats. He was sure they were going to EAT him. And Tyce...well, let's just say he is in his element running around outside with friends and animals.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

picture updates

We had to get some pictures for our post placement reports. Getting 4 kiddos to look at the camera all at once is so hard to do. And getting the picture in focus is even more difficult. I LOVE taking pics on the stairs here. The lighting is always so pretty.

Tyce always has such a ready smile. There are very few pictures of him where he isn't grinning from ear to ear.

Now getting a picture of Tate...not quite as easy. He is quick to pout for a picture and looks away. And when we get one of him smiling it looks forced. These are cute ones though.

People often ask how the girls are doing with our adjustment with our new boys home. And honestly...they are doing great. They have grown into the rolls of big sisters to 2 little brothers perfectly. The bond between the 2 of them is even more obvious. And they are growing up to be beautiful inside and out.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

gardening this was months ago (actually, mother's day to be exact). But I have been wanting to get these pictures up here on the blog. I just ordered another blog book from last year so it has motivated me to keep up on the family journaling. For some wonky reason my comments are gone. I had some problems with spam and I did some things to take care of it and tried to bring the comment option back and even though I have enabled the comments to exist, it isn't working. If I can get a few hours to figure it out, I will. But for now...yayyyyyy for pictures.
And speaking of pictures...loving the new photo collage. My kiddos have been sick today, so I spent some time uploading pics and getting some old posting taken care of.

I just LOVE how Tate is holding onto my arm in this pic. He is by my side or on my hip every moment of the day.
Tyce is the hardest worker I have seen. He will dig right in and help out in every situation. I wanted to have a garden to provide us the opportunity to work side by side and bond together. He has shown how much he loves plants and flowers and I thought he would really thrive at tending the garden.

reading together

Love it when I see the big girls be so tender to our little ones. Notice Tally is showing Tate how to sign the pictures in the book.

it kills me...

...that these 2 are growing up so fast...sigh.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Our 6th year of homeschooling seriously...I have become a VERY BAD BLOGGER. I have spent so much time focussing on our new kids and new family dynamic, it is still at the bottom of the list. But I am trying...I will get back to it. But schooling 3-4 kiddos and keeps me busy.

We are in full swing of our SIXTH year of home educating. does the time fly by. It is going well and I try to keep some kind of a record here to show what we are doing each year. We have done about 40+ days of school so far.

Our curriculum (for the big kids) this year includes:

Spelling - Sequential Spelling
Handwriting - Handwriting Without Tears (focus on cursive again)
Grammar - Easy Grammar (Tally is trying to do 2 years worth this year)
Reading - Pathway Readers (Last year for Tally on these)
Bible - Precepts for kids - Names of God
History - Story of the World vol. 2 - Middle Ages
Science - Apologia - Botany
Math - MUS Epsilon (Tally is trying to do 1.5 years worth this year)

Extras -

Tissy takes an art class on Tuesdays (drawing)
Tally goes to an enrichment class on Thursdays t0 focus on hands on learning for science, art and life on a farm.
Both girls are taking Karate (working on their yellow belt)
We meet with another family a few times a month to do some learning together (focus on habitats this fall).
Fall field trips - pumpkin farm, old village, science center, park days, bird banding at the nature center

Tyce (our preschooler) is also homeschooling 2 days a week (Tues and Fridays).
Primer book for MUS - number and shape recognition
Reading - Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons (about 1/5 of the way through)
Handwriting - preschool book for HWT
Fall soccer at the Y
MDO (simple preschool) 2 days a week

Sunday, August 22, 2010

summer camp

Somehow we found money in the budget to allow our 2 oldest sweet peas to go to summer camp again. It was the HIGHLIGHT of their year. What a blast they had. Swimming, hiking, archery, rock climbing, singing, bible time and lots of hanging with their friends.Tally made it to the top of the rock wall again this year.

We joined them on the last day to get the tour and enjoy the fun for a little bit ourselves. The only down was HOT. And with a little guy strapped to is even more HOT.

The boys didn't quite know what to think about this place. I wonder if Tyce will be able to attend some day. I think he would love the adventure.

The girls opted to attend day camp again. Maybe, just maybe, they might be interested in overnight camp one of these times.

I love it that even though they have a great time with their friends all week long, they still love having a great time together.These two girls are truly best friends. I hope they will always look back on their memories of camp and think it was one of the best places on earth ( that is how I think about my years at camp).