Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Beautiful Girlhood, my daughter never ceases to amaze me

My oldest and I are working through Beautiful Girlhood by Mabel Hale (revised by Karen Andreola) along with The Companion Guide to Beautiful Girlhood by Shelley Noonan and Kimberly Zach.  I've been enjoying spending this special one on one time with my oldest and cherish these moments of closeness knowing how fleeting they are.  Sometimes though, I wonder how much is she really listening and how much is she really getting out of this.  Does she really understand what the author is getting at about her being on the edge of "womanhood".  Afterall, she's still just a little girl, right?

This is her journal entry for Chapter 2.  

It's hard to make out exactly what she wrote, but the beginning part is a description of a favorite memory from childhood.  The memory is nice enough but,  she then added a picture with a little poem on the bottom.  That's the part that amazed me the most. 

The picture is of a mother (me) and daughter (her) walking through the woods.  Behind them, on the forest floor are toys.  Ahead of them there is a little black smudge.  Her poem is:

Do I go back and play? 

What does your little one say?

Your sister says "Go back!"

But what is that black thing ahead?

The "black thing" is the unknown calling her forward leaving her childhood behind.  sniff sniff.  Talk about making her Mama cry!  (I did manage to hold it together, I was just tearing up inside)  The good thing is, even though she grasped what we were talking about, she is adamant that she will remain a little girl forever.  She is in no hurry to grow up. 

The time is going by so fast and I know I can't stop the inevitable but for now, I relish that my 9 year old still delights in being my little girl.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

One last entry

I forgot another thing I wanted to share about this past week.  DaddyO had a meeting last weekend that lasted until Tuesday early afternoon.   He took the rest of the week off as vacation.  We enjoyed having him home and took advantage of sneaking in some field trips this week.

We are studying Zoology this year with another family.  We're using Jeanie Fulbrights incredible Exploring Creation with Zoology 2:  Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day.  There is a ray exhibit at our zoo that we'd been wanting to go to so we decided that this week would be a perfect time to go.  We headed to the zoo Tuesday afternoon, after the meeting and after the school crowds disappeared.  Sting Ray Bay was an amazing time for everyone.  My oldest, who has something beyond an obsession with anything fish or ocean related, was in heaven.  I honestly thought she was going to jump in and join the rays a couple of times.  Warm water, cool rays, why not?  After it was all over, she was so wet she looked like she had actually gone swimming with the rays!  This is a definite destination we will return to before they go back to summer in Ohio.  Our Rays are "snowbirds"! 

R and A are the two on the left.  E. is the 2nd from right in glasses.  You can see S on the far right.  He liked the exhibit, but didn't want to get too close.  Some of the rays were really big.

A got pretty wet as well.  Their sleeves were rolled up, though obviously not far enough.

Do you think she could get any closer?

Feeding the rays.

We also headed to our local science center later in the week to check out the Imax film Coral Reef Adventure.  The images were, of course awesome, the film, so-so.  The music and sound effects, in my opinion, greatly detracted from the film.  Their agenda was pretty blatant but tolerable.  It's definitely worth going to just to see the gorgeous underwater photography.

We enjoyed our time with Daddy  being off and are all mourning tomorrow when he heads off to work again.

3 entries in one day!

I'm rather feast or famine when it comes to my blog.  Here's my last entry for the evening. 

We're part of an Across the Miles bookclub with 12 other families using Five in a Row.  The way the bookclub works is each family chooses a book they'd like to share.  You mail the book to the next person on the list with a brief description of the book.  The family receives the book, the kids read it, write their own review of the book, add it to the back and mail it on to the next family.  Each month we send and receive a book that is in rotation.  By the end of 13 months we should get our book back with all the write-ups from the kids who have participated.  We are in our second month and the kids are really enjoying this. 

The book we received this month is Journey to Nowhere by Mary Jane Auch.  In the book they mention a cake Ma prepares to serve to the families coming to help them build their cabin.  The cake is called 1,2,3,4 Cake.  It sounded simple enough my oldest dd and I decided to give it a try.  Here's our cake that the girls renamed Remembrance Cake, since the main characters name is Remembrance.

The dough was more the consistency of a sweet bread, like a scone then cake batter.  When I spread it in the pan it covered just a little over half the pan.  We all really enjoyed the cake.  It's simple enough the girls can make it on their own.









Owl Moon

Five in a Row has a cookbook written by Becky Jane Lambert that has a meal to go with every book in the Five in a Row curriculum.  We try to make the meal after we wrap up our week with our story.  It's a nice way to say good-bye to, what has become, a new friend.  I've missed a few so this week I've planned our menu to have the meals from the books we've missed.

Tonights meal was chili, corn muffins and for dessert, there was to be a rootbeer float.  We're saving the float for tomorrow because we'd already made a cake.  Becky Jane has left the name of the menu item open so the kids can name it themselves.  Our kids came up with these names for our food tonight.  Senor Gills Satisfied Chili & Corny Goodness Corn Muffins (made from freshly ground corn I might add )  The name of the chili came from the way Baby Gill devoured this meal!  He loved it and was a very satisfied tike.

Be looking for more yummy meals later this week.

Photo Hunt

I'm a day late, again.  But, todays weather made for a perfect entry for the theme "Wild".

Wild weather!

Snow in the desert! 

Our bizarre snow today was a mixture of something between hail and snow.  Very bizarre and very "wild"!

(do you see my 3 year old in shorts, short sleeved shirt and socks?  You'd never guess he was a mid-westerner now would you? )

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Summer memories

This video is from last May.  Yes, May is considered summer where I live.  It's taken me this long to get it from my camera to my computer.  Then, from my computer to photo bucket.  Then from photo bucket to here.  Did I ever mention I'm technically challenged?  The thing is I don't know how I got the picture to download to my computer and then how they showed up on Photobucket.  See, I tried all these different things and they weren't showing up but today, voila!  Here they are. :)   I still have several videos stuck in my camera because I can't get them onto the computer.  I'm hoping one day they will magically appear on my computer like this one so I can 1. enjoy them and 2. free up all the memory they are taking up on my camera!

Enough rambling, here's the video:

Or not! LOL  Now I could just delete this whole entry and pretend it never existed.  But, I already admitted I'm technically challenged, here's further proof.  I can't get the video to show up in my post. 

Maybe I'll try to post the link in my sidebar to see if it'll show up.  Otherwise you all will just have to miss it and r
est assured, you'll have missed one spectacular display of summer fun! 

Yay!  It worked.  scroll to my side bar and check out the video of my then 6 year old enjoying the slip n slide.  Doesn't she have wonderful technique?  You can hear my then 2 year old yelling.  Now, wasn't that worth it!  Oh, and the dufuss I am, it's dropshots not photo bucket. :D

As the majority of you are slipping and sliding on ice, just another taste of summer fun is just around the corner.  Hope you enjoy it.

I've been tagged!

My friend Jen tagged me for the "Book Meme".  Normally I end up ignoring tags because I never seem to get around to posting my drafts!  This one, however, is fairly easy enough for me to complete in a short amount of time.  So here goes:

1.  Grab the book closest to you.

2.  Open to page 123, and go down to the fourth sentence.

3.  Post the text of the following three sentences on your blog.

4.  Name the author and the book title.

5.  Tag 3 people to do the same.

 Then Elisha said, "About this time next year, you will hold a son in your arms." 

The woman said, "No master, man of God.  Don't lie to me!"

Nelson's Bedtime Bible Stories 
This book was left here by the kids. 
Here's the other book that was close at hand.  It's one my oldest read this year for free reading.  I'm now reading through it in my attempt to "preread" her reading selections! (not really prereading if she's already read it now is it.  )

At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald

"Come along, Diamond," she said in his ear, in the smallest and highest of treble voices; "it is time we were setting out for Sandwich."

Diamond could just see her, by turning his head towards his shoulder as far as he could, but only with one eye, for his nose came between her and hte other.

"Won't you take me in your arms and carry me?" he said in a whisper, for he knew she did not like a loud voice when she was small.

Now, to find 3 people to tag. :-)

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Nature Study in our front yard



I apologize for the large photo's, I'll resize them in a few days.  The hummingbirds are just so small that the medium setting just didn't do them justice.  I like how you can see the hummingbirds tiny feet in the last one.
This is in our courtyard.  Between the feeder, the lantana and the fountain that's on all day, we've managed to create a humingbird paradise.  They are often found resting in our Palo Verde trees before they buzz off to get some more food.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Back to the books!

Man that was a fast 5 weeks!  We so needed that time off and truly appreciated the time we had to just do fun projects, read, play and goof off! But, with a new year comes time to hit the books once again.  We started back on Tuesday and are beginning to fall back into our routine.  We actually finished a bit early so the kids are enjoying some extra time for playing.

My five year old was the most excited to start back to school so today I'll blog about what we did this week w/ her.  I read Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost.  This particular book is part of our beloved FIAR curriculum.  It's a shorter lesson week, which worked well for our shorter school week. 

We discussed elements of a poem such as alliteration, repitition, rhyme and rhyme scheme.  We read through the poem finding Frost's usage of all these elements and saw how he used an AABA rhyme scheme for his poem.  

For science we discussed tracking and how you can find animal tracks in various places.  When we go on our next walk we're going to be looking for some animal tracks.  R. is hoping to find coyote tracks.  Although I've seen plenty of coyotes I've never actually seen their tracks.  I'll let you all know if we do happen across some animal tracks.

For art we discussed Susan Jeffer's beautiful illustrations.  We talked about the medium she used, the perspective she drew from and how she was able to capture the quiet and stillness of Frost's words w/ her drawings.  In Jeffer's drawings she uses mainly black and white with just a hint of color on each page.  We discussed why her reasoning for this might be and how this influences our feelings w/ the drawings.  I had R. draw her own interpretation of Jeffer's illustrations using pencil and ink (although I think R only used pencil) .    I had her draw a scene that used mainly black and white w/ just a hint of color.  This is her drawing:


It's hard to see real well in a scan since it's done w/ a dull pencil! LOL  But, in the lower right corner you can see just a little bit of color, that's her drawing of the man in the sleigh.  In the middle is a big tree and snow is falling down all around.  I think that's what the white ovals are.

R. also plugged away on her reading lessons this week.  After taking 5 weeks off I wasn't quite sure what to expect with her reading.  I think the time off did some good and really helped what we had been studying  before the break sink in.  She still is struggling with site words but each week she seems to gain some ground on them. 

We're using Reading Made Easy for reading lessons.  I've successfully used this program with my two oldest and R seems to be doing really well with this type of instruction as well.  She is very excited to learn how to read.  We're a little over half-way through the book.  I think once she gets those site words down she will discover she really does know how to read.  With some more memorization and some confidence boosting, she'll be off in no time.

Her math lessons were also continued to less than enthusiastic exclamations.  We're using Math U See for math.  Since R is just K and just this fall really had a handle on writing her numbers I started her in Primer.  She's doing fine in the program but it is not her favorite part of school.

I also introduced our new Poetry Memorization program.  This weeks poem was Ooey Gooey (author unknown) .  The kids all giggled and loved to recite this poem.  I am going to use this as a way to not only memorize poetry but also to practice speaking skills.  My kids tend to have noodle legs when reciting something and talk to the ground, or cushion or floor - wherever they happen to be flopping at the time.  For their poetry recitations they need to be standing - on the floor - facing us with their hands down to their sides.  They need to speak clearly and loudly, but not too loudy.  This is especially a challenge for my daughter with Tourettes.  I do give her some slack when I know it's a true tic and not just a floppy, lazy I don't want to be don't want to be doing this move.  I think, hope and pray that this will help her with speaking in front of others.

For devotions we are reading through the Bible reading two New Testament passages and a Proverbs every day.  In a few weeks I want to start back Leading Little One's to God devotions as well.   

E & A's week I'll blog about later, maybe tomorrow.

I don't know about all of you but I still have Christmas decorations up, including the tree.   I really need to take everything down but we've all been sick with icky coughs and runny noses.  I just haven't had the motivation to get it done.  Tomorrow is the day!  I will tackle all the decorations tomorrow.  With dh off one of us will be able to keep the baby out of the boxes (you know how fast a 10 month old can unpack a box, don't you!) while the other one packs up and  cleans up.  Yay.