Make Believe Animal Art Project

On our last trip to the library, this book made its way into our pile.

It's a cute story about a kid who asks for a pet, but his parents won't let him get one (sounds vaguely familiar), until he asks for a "Snaggle Grollop".  His parents agree that he can have a Snaggle Grollop since it's a make believe animal.  The next day, much to his parents surprise, the boy brings his animal home.

After we read the story, I decided to have the kids draw pictures of their own make believe animals and name them.

They enjoyed creating a new creature and coming up with a silly name.

It ended up being a fun, easy little activity.
Linked up with the Weekly Kids Co-op


This Cute Face

Could he get any cuter?


He never ceases to make us laugh!


Visiting Their "Wednesday School"

Today I was out and about fairly close to where my oldest two kids will be attending a one day a week homeschool program at a Christian school, so I surprised them (and myself, because I hadn't planned on it) by going to their school for a little visit.

I had no idea if it would even be open, but it was!  So we just walked right in.

We were able to see both of their classrooms, the library, the gym, the playground...even the bathrooms (everything was exciting!)

The look on the kids' faces as they walked around the building, "owning" each part that they will come in contact with in the Fall, was priceless. 

Jonny was exuding joy as he walked (ran and hopped is more like it) around his disheveled classroom, pointing out even the so-called "insignificant" things.  Nothing was insignificant.  Nothing was boring.  Everything was new, and it thrilled him to the core.  It almost brought me to tears.  Really, it did.  Almost.  ;)

Emilia was also really excited, which makes me happy.  I had taken them to this same school two Springs ago to see about enrolling them for last year, but Emilia clung to my leg the whole time and Jonny wasn't too keen on the idea at first either (he warmed up after being there awhile...Emilia didn't...and Matthew, who was 3 at the time, was ready to go to school that very day!  Every child is so different!).  We decided to keep them home another year, but always talked about them attending the Wednesday school the following year.

Well, "the following year" is only two short months away and we're all excited about adding this day to our homeschool schedule.   (Matthew would be even more excited if he was going too. ;) )

Playing on the playground (taken with my phone - too bad I didn't bring my camera!)

Emilia and Jonny will go to school every Wednesday from 8:20-2:55 starting in the middle of September and go through the end of April (I really like the fact that it doesn't go into May or June).  Emilia will be in the 3rd/4th grade classroom where she will have multiple teachers.  Jonny will be in the 1st/2nd grade classroom, and the majority of the time he will have one teacher.  Their day will consist of art, music, Spanish, hands-on science, PE, geography, writing and, of course, the all importants: Lunch and Recess.  ;)  I'll still be doing the 3R's (and more) at home with them on the other 4 days of the week.  

My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed school when we were kids, so it's always been something that we've wanted them to experience as well.  For now, this is a pretty good way for them to be able to "go to school" at a traditional private school, while still enabling us to continue on with our homeschool adventure (because homeschooling is an adventure that we don't want to quit - at least not right now ;) ).

In the future, we may take advantage of the "university model" education (click on this link for a good description of a university model school) that this school offers (which is pretty cool, if you ask me), but for now, one day a week is good for us.

We're enjoying our summer, and we're looking forward to the changes that are coming!



Mom Naps...Or Not

After putting Tommy down for a nap, I contemplated making coffee or taking a nap myself.  Those were the only two logical choices with how I was feeling.

I opted for the "healthier" choice and laid on the living room couch warning my three non-napping, non-quiet-time children (yeah, yeah, yeah, you scheduled "my kids always have a quiet time during the day" moms...good for you...I don't want to hear it ;) ) that they were not to wake me up unless it was ABSOLUTELY necessary.

Blood is a good reason to wake a sleep deprived mother.  At that moment, I could think of no other reason that would warrant interrupting my sleep.

I had Emilia check the time and told her to wake me up in about 45 minutes.

No sooner had I closed my eyes than the boys began playing the game, Who Can Annoy His Brother More?  Their wailing and whining increased with each mean-spirited action.

After sending one to my room and one to the other couch, I closed my eyes again, hoping (against all that is reasonable and rational in my world) that both cranky boys would fall asleep for, say...2 hours.  Then I'd be able to sleep for my entire "quiet time".

Somewhere in the "I'm-in-denial-about-how-things-really-go-with-my-kids-during-the-random-quiet-times-in-our-house" recesses of my brain, I knew that those boys would not even shut their wide awake eyes.  I'm pretty sure they secretly drink Coke throughout the days. 

Shortly, I hear one from down the hall, "Can I get up?!"  The one from the couch, spurred on by his new-best-friend-brother, is asking if he can get up as well.

All I wanted to do was close my eyes for longer than twenty-one seconds! 

"You can get up IF you'll be kind to each other."  I may have been gritting my teeth.

They promised to love each other as best brothers forever and never fight again...oh wait...that must have been a little dream I was having while I wasn't sleeping.

"We'll be nice," they both affirmed.  And they were!  Thank you my wonderful children.  I was no longer gritting my teeth and I felt myself starting to drift off...ever...so...slowly...ahhhh....bliss...

The drifting of myself into slumberland came to an abrupt end when I tensed, sensing a child-like presence that was breathing close to my head.  A hand reached out and touched my pillow.  My hair.  I shut my eyes tighter and lay very still.  Maybe he'd think I was still sleeping.  I was sure no blood was involved, and I was SOOO close!

The breathing continued.  Louder. Closer.  More forced. 

I didn't even have to turn my head.  My eyes stayed closed on purpose.  "What is it Jonny?"  I was slightly perturbed.

"I'm hungry," he half whispered (just in case I'm still sleeping?).  He's pretty good at sounding like I never feed him.

"There are crackers on the counter."  I was gritting again. 

And then I had the best idea in the world.  Why didn't I think of it sooner?  I'm brilliant!

"After you have a snack, you can all watch a show!"  The "rotting your brain" statement that I normally give my children didn't even cross my mind.  At that moment, TV was a wonderful invention; a best friend. 

Cheers of excitement (that could have been what woke up Tommy) filled the room and all four sat down to watch something wholesome, I'm sure. I finally drifted off, dreaming of nothing and loving every minute even though I had no idea at the time how much I was actually loving it.

When my eyes opened,Tommy was snuggled up beside me.  He was hungry and needed a diaper change.

The show was over, and the boys were whining again.

I fought the urge to go back to sleep. 

Instead, I took the higher road.

I made myself some coffee.

Hip Homeschool Hop Button


The Kids

Messing around with my camera on some pretty cute subjects...

Tommy - 2
Matthew - 4
Jonny - 6
Emilia - 8

And one more that just makes me smile. 

 Handsome 6 (teen) year old.  ;)


What are you Trying to Prove?

Below are actual things that have been said to me (sometimes in front of my children):

“Are you a homeschooler?  I thought so…I know how to spot them.  I knew there was something different about your family.”

“You homeschool?  I’ve found homeschoolers to be very awkward in social situations.  What do you think?”  (I’m assuming she was traditionally schooled because that wasn’t awkward at all…)

Said to me while I was holding (not nursing) my newborn at a political convention (I wasn’t even wearing a dress or skirt, and this person did not know me):  “Changing the culture, one breastfed, homeschooled baby at a time.”

“Oh…you homeschool.  My husband worked with two boys that had been homeschooled and they were strange.  I think real life is hard for homeschooled kids… (awkward pause)…but I’m sure yours will do okay…”

“We know a couple homeschooled kids that started going to our public school in middle and high school.  They did just fine.”

Random Stranger:  “So, where do you go to school?”  One of my children:  “We’re homeschooled.”
Random Stranger:  “Oh…do you like your teacher?  Hahahahahahaha!!!” 

“I know people who think that everyone who homeschools raises chickens and lives in the woods.”   (Okay, okay, we used to have chickens and we still live in the woods.  What of it?)

Regularly hearing such things could give anyone a complex.  It makes me think that all homeschoolers are viewed in a stereotypical light…by everyone...

To read the rest of this post, please head on over to Heart of the Matter, where I continue...  :)

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