Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Desktop photos

Today's photo was one of A. back in August of 2006. She had just turned 7 the month before. :) She's holding Wild Triangle, who was sick and dying in this picture. He died later in the evening.  Sad day for the kiddos.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Free Reading

I've been lax about blogging and lax about my kids free reads.  Our curriculum is already so dense in literature, wonderful great works of literature, that it's easy to let the free reads slide. I'm trying to be better about that. :)

Here's what we're reading for "free reading" time. Free reading are books that don't require any thing other than the kids read them. No narrations and only discuss if they feel led. You'd think they'd jump at their free reading time. LOL

I picked one book from each of the four kids free read selections and have been working our way through them, very slowly. My goal was one chapter a day, every day. That hasn't happened for a variety of reasons. Since I'm reading them out loud to everyone, some days "everyone" is not here. Other days I'm just plum tired of reading out loud! Since I'm typing this out here for the world to see (or the three that read my blog ;) ), I'm thinking I'll be more accountable to actually reading through these books and finishing them before they all graduate from highschool. Since my youngest just turned three, chances are I'll exceed that goal.

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain. This is actually a book from E's list last year. *sigh* Work in progress.  Bonus, that means it's a free read from A's list this year! See how easy that worked out. :D

The Winged Watchman by Hilda Van Stockum - Again, a book from A's list last year. I think we only have one chapter left! What's wrong with me. I've been waiting to find out what happens for about six months now! LOL

Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain - We're about on chapter 3, maybe 4. A long way to go yet.

We did actually recently finish one of the free reading books for my 8 year old, Alice in Wonderland! Yay! :)  Now we are on to, The Bears of Blue River by Charles Major - I read this to my girls 5 years ago. I remember thinking at the time what a great book this is and how every boy should have a chance to hear it. I'm having so much fun reading this to my 8 year old, he loves every word and is disappointed when we come to the end of a chapter. My girls are enjoying hearing it read to them again.

The free reads my kids are enjoying on their own:
E. , 14 - The Innocence of Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton
A., 12 - Sir Gawaine and the Green Knight (Burton Raffel's version is what we have. Although, I did see a J.R.R. Tolkein version that I bet is really good as well)
R., 10 - Hans Brinker by Mary Mapes Dodge
S. 8 - Five Children and It by E. Nesbit

My girls are also involved in a couple of bookclubs. The two oldest are reading Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan and all three are reading Twenty and Ten by Claire Huchet Bishop
There you have it! I've written it out so you all can keep me accountable!  I think I'll go finish The Winged Watchman now. :)

What's on your free reading list?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Desktop photos

My daughter likes to change my desktop photo on a fairly regular basis. I never know when she's going to do it, I'm just pleasantly surprised when a new photo pops up.  They are usually older photos that I've forgotten about.  This is what greeted me this evening when I got on my computer. :)

My sweet J. was three in this photo. He'll be turning six one week from today. Life is moving oh so fast.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Precious Moments

Tonight I spent a beautiful evening with E.  When we heard the US Women's soccer team was coming into town, and they were playing Sweden!, we knew this was the perfect birthday present for her. She had to wait almost a month to actually redeem her gift, but, I think she'd say it was well worth the wait!

She had a couple of reffing jobs this afternoon, so as soon as those were over we headed out to the stadium.  I was hoping to be able to stop at a restaurant and have dinner with her before the game. Between our late start, traffic and freeway closures, we decided to get right to the stadium and eat the "delicious" food they were serving there. (gag)

It was a beautiful evening as we set out

We made it!
Before the game

 We grabbed our food, a hot dog for each of us, a Sprite for E and water for me, and headed to our seats.  I don't really like hot dogs and I have to say that about half way through this one, I wish I had just stuck to water! LOL  Blech!  

E. "enjoying" her hot dog (she doesn't really like hot dogs either ;) )

US Women's Soccer team warming up

Swedish team warming up
Me and my girl

Official opening

Kick off!

The game was so much fun to watch. E. particularly enjoyed watching #4, which is her number and plays the same position as E.  :)  Wow! She was amazing. They all were amazing. Even though Sweden ended up with the first goal of the evening, the US team seemed more in control of the game. They had so many goal attempts and just couldn't quite make it in. It was agonizing as they went to the goal over and over and it would bounce off the post, or just glance to the side, or the Swedish team would squeak in there and knock it out at the last second. 

Half time score board

They came back in the second half with a few substitutions and finally scored in the last few minutes of the game!

Tied game!

The ref added 3 minutes to the playing time, and both teams fought to the very end.  At some point during the second half the crowd started chanting for Alex Morgan.  They weren't disappointed! She was subbed in and, wow! Was she fun to watch. Very talented young lady.

Waving to the fans

There were over 18,000 people in attendance (record crowd) so we decided to hang out a little before leaving.  We watched the players cool down, the post game interview and the coolest part, watching the players come over to the fans who were standing along the railings. One girl had a poster asking Alex for her headband, and she got it!  She was so excited!  Love to see the athletes interacting with their fans.

Last photo before leaving

This evening was so special. Not only because I got to see an amazing soccer game but because I got to see it with one of my most favorite people in the whole world, my sweet 14 yo, first born gal.

Love you E! Thank you for a wonderful evening!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fall Weather

For the most part we don't experience true fall weather like the rest of the country. Temperatures are still reaching the triple digits through the month of October, which means it's hot. :p

However, last week we were blessed with a low pressure system that came through and brought some rain and lots of wind that left us with highs in the 70's, thirty degrees cooler than normal! Yippee!

We soaked up that beautiful weather, enjoying every cool (to us ;) ) breeze.  It was short lived, we're back up in the upper 90's this week with little wind and no rain in sight.   It was a wonderful taste of what's to come in another month. :)

Some early morning pics of the kids E. took last week. :)

 Beautiful morning

Dear Fall, we anxiously anticipate your return!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Growing Up or, Teens are so much fun

I just spent the morning with E., my eldest. She will be 14 next month. Life is flying by faster and faster.  When she was a baby I'd stare at her and wonder about these years, and now they are here!  I've enjoyed all the stages w/ my children, and I do get nostalgic at times for those younger years when "Ritter Bird" and "Bella's!", magnadoodles and painting and the endless reading of picture books took up our days. But, there's something about having a teen that makes up for all those memories fading quickly into the past. 

After her eye appointment, for her final contact lens fitting (see, getting older!), we headed to the grocery store. I never know exactly what this girl will come up with to talk about but I know it will always be something that makes me think! No shallow, superficial conversations with her!  LOL

Today's question was, "If you could go back in history for one day when would it be and why?"  The "rules", which I clarified ;), were, you were aware that you have gone back, so you had your own historical reference for the time period from a modern standpoint and you couldn't be hurt, well, maybe you could! LOL 

We both agreed that we'd love to spend a day at Jesus' feet, soaking up His teaching. E. also said she would also have liked to have been there for his resurrection, "How cool would that have been??"  If she couldn't pick those days then sometime in the 5th century BC.  When I asked why she picked that time period she answered, "Because there was so much happening at that time!" Where would she like to be in that time period, "Uh, in Athens, because that's where all the action was!" Then went on to tell me all the "amazing" things that were happening.

Glad to know that her education is sinking in afterall. ;)

On that note, I'm off to read Plutarch (Life of Demetrius) to my three oldest kiddo's...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Reading

There's been a lot of reading going on here during our break from school. The three oldest are working through their free reading books that they didn't read during the school year. I've also been reading out loud to all the kids from their individual lists of free readings that they didn't get to during the school year. My two oldest are in a teen bookclub that decided to meet over the summer. I'm reading along side them, since I'd never read the book they are reading. I'm trying to preread as much as I can of E's. school books for next year and, I'm in a moms bookclub that also is meeting over the summer. Phew! That's a lot of books!

So, what are we reading, you're asking? Glad you asked. :)

First, the one's I'm reading out loud to my crew (the links are not necessarily the version we have. They are provided simply for book description for those who are interested. I haven't thoroughly looked at the books in the links provided to see if they are abridged or not, but all our books are unabridged! :) ):
From S's list:
Along Came a Dog by Meindert De Jong - 4th time to read this out loud and I like it better each time. :)

From R's list:
Gentle Ben by Walt Morey

From A's list:
The Winged Watchman by Hilda Van Stockum
Excellent historical fiction set in Holland during the Nazi occupation of WWII

From E's list:
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain
Fun twist on King Arthur tales. A Connecticut shop keeper is transported back in time to King Arthur's court where he is "on trial" for his life. Fun, fun, fun read.

Books the girls are reading:
R has been reading a bunch. A good portion of these she told me that she had started them during the school year but had never finished them. That would explain why she finishes three books in a day. LOL 
Pollyanna by Eleanor Porter
The Borrowers by Mary Norton
Gone Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright
Return to Gone Away by Elizabeth Enright
Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright
The Peterkin Papers by Lucretia Hale - her current read

A's book:
God's Smuggler by Brother Andrew
I thought she had already finished this book. She informed me she had not! LOL I think she has two other ones going right now as well, but I don't know what they are.

E's book:
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

I'm currently reading five of E.'s books for next year. It's slow going though! Not sure I'll get to too many before before we start back up in a few weeks.
Desiring God by John Piper
A Coffin for King Charles by C.V. Wedgewood
Galileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel
The Wonderful O by James Thurber - I actually finished this one!
The Thurber Carnival by James Thurber
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

E and A's bookclub book, being read over a three month period:
All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

My bookclub:
Radical by David Platt - missed the discussion today
Humility by C.J. Mahaney
I learned that the women liked Radical so much, that instead of reading Humility for August they are reading another David Platt book, Radical Together: Unleashing the People of God for the Purpose of God.  I don't have this one yet and, honestly, with all the other books I'm reading, it's unlikely I'm ever going to get to this one! But, there it is on my list. :)
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxes - This will be read through the fall and I haven't started it yet!

I almost forgot! The oldest three have also started reading their book for our Keepers/Bookclub meeting next month. It's the Christian Girls Guide to Money by  Rebecca Totilo. I haven't read it but the girls have said they are enjoying it.

Lots of good summer reading going on over here. :) 

What are some of the books your family is reading now?