Wow, it's been such a wonderful day so far. And that in spite of the fact that I stayed up until 2 am last night finishing up my previous blog post, and then got up only slightly later than usual, just after 7 am. For some reason, because the public schools are on spring break this week, I keep telling myself "It's spring break, after all!", even though our homeschool is going full speed ahead.
Speaking of homeschooling, we are just finishing up on week 18, meaning that we are halfway through our "school year". Considering I have a little baby, I am very happy with the progress we have been making, and how quickly we got back into the swing of things after the birth. I like to have somewhat of a plan and schedule, so at the beginning of the year I predetermined how much each of the kids had to do in math and language studies (grammar, spelling, penmanship, reading, composition) each week. Those are the only subjects they each study on their own level (Pre-K, 1st, 3rd, and 5th). John is finally reading fluently, although he is still lacking the motivation to want to read the way Solomon and Isaac devour books. Miriam is just starting to blend letters together and reading simple blends, something she is doing very well with. All her life, she has been unable to say the "k" sound. Well, this week, she suddenly figured out how to say it! It was kind of sad, especially for my husband who thought she sounded very cute with her "speech impediment". The only letter she still can't pronounce is "g", but I'm sure she'll figure it out, soon.
Miriam loves sorting things, so I knew she would love this educational shape game I found at the thrift store today for just over $1.
She color-matched these treat platters (reinforcement rings) with plastic spoons, felt goodies, and hair clips.
All other subjects (history, science, geography, crafts, German, etc.) we work on together, and use "Cantering the Country" as our springboard. We have been going so in-depth on the individual states that we are still only on our 4th state so far (New Hampshire) in the last two months. There is just so much interesting stuff to learn about. We have covered whales/whaling, logging, fishing, animals that live in the Atlantic Ocean, various biographies of famous people, poetry, the American Revolution, and so much more. I love being a home educator because it gives me the opportunity to read and learn about new things every week, rather than working a monotonous job day in, day out.
Have I mentioned what an EASY baby Anna is? Seriously, I am getting very, very spoiled with her. She is content to perch in her bouncer and watch the action around her, and then just dozes off to sleep. The only time she fusses is when she is hungry, and then she eats quickly, and goes to sleep. She stays asleep for 2-3 hour stretches several times throughout the day, and goes to sleep for the night right around the same time as the older kids do. I do not put her on any sort of schedule, that is just the pattern that she very kindly has fallen into all on her own. Very mellow and laid back, and always smiling. She sucks on her own thumb or lower lip for comfort, which is not only cute, but also very convenient. I could go on gushing about my precious baby, but I'll spare you. It is so fun to see how much joy she spreads wherever I take her - people are naturally drawn to little babies and get so happy to be around them. She has been a very easy "addition".
There was a day when ISAAC fit into this little sleeper gown! Sad, but true!
One of my favorite pictures, ever. I just LOVE her toesies!
Yes, she definitely has a tinge of red in her hair.
Sucking her thumb in her sleep
So to back up, I made doughnuts for breakfast today. I have tried my luck at them before, but they never come out as fluffy and light as the ones from the store. The recipe I tried today was an absolute hit - the best doughnuts ever, hands down. I did need quite a bit more flour than the recipe calls for to get my dough to pull into a neat ball, but maybe my buttermilk was unusually runny because I cultured it myself from raw milk.
Frosted with a simple powdered sugar glaze
After breakfast, I took the girls to the thrift store to buy summer clothes while the boys stayed home to do their math and English (with Dad, who had paperwork to do). Can you believe it's been mid 70s to low 90s in the day time here? Definitely time to retire the warm clothes! I had a 30% off coupon for my entire purchase, plus it was half off day today, so I got a ton of really cute clothes for all six of them. I also found the first 31 books of the "Nancy Drew" mystery stories, brand new. The boys have been devouring the "Hardy Boys" books, and I knew the girls would enjoy reading these in a few more years. The books came out to just over a dollar each, which is about a third of the price we have been paying at the used book store for the "Hardy Boys". There were a bunch of other really cool non-fiction books I scored for the kids. We now have so many that I am seriously thinking about cataloging the books according to the Dewey decimal system. It sure would make it easier to quickly find a book on whatever subject we are covering that week. Ridiculous, huh? :)
Probably my favorite find today was a waffle cone maker. I have been looking for one on craigslist for at least 6 months now, to no avail. The only ones for sale were commercial ones ($200 and up), and one for home use that they were trying to sell for only $5 less than it costs new at the store. I am of the opinion that if I am buying something used (i.e. no warranty, can't return it, not new, etc.) I will at the most pay 50% of the original price. The lady was adamant about not going down on the price, even though the listing eventually expired without her ever selling it. Humph! But wouldn't you know it, I found one at the thrift store today that came out to $4 after my coupon!! All so I can make my own (partially) whole grain, organic waffle cones at home. I mean, if you are going to eat ice cream every day in the summer, you might as well make it HEALTHY, right?? No, truth is, we love waffle cones, but they are pretty expensive to buy ready made.
To top it all off, when we got back home, there were TWO packages waiting for me! One was for my birthday from my husband's mom, and one was for the whole family all the way from Australia, filled with yummy goodies. THANK YOU!! This is the second very awesome package we have received this week as part of "Cantering the Country" - more on that in a later post!
Speaking of all these treats, I am now officially trying to lose the last few pregnancy pounds. As it stands, I am only 6 lbs above my pre-pregnancy weight, but I could stand to lose at least another 20. I do Weight Watchers between all my pregnancies. After achieving goal weight on program several babies ago, I get to go to the meetings for free. Sometimes I manage to lose all the weight between pregnancies, and sometimes I don't, it all depends on how soon I get pregnant again. When Becky was Anna's age, I weighed 20 lbs more than I do now, so I feel like I have a good chance of reaching my goal weight again this time around.
Now it is "silent time" in our house, which means that the girls are napping, and the boys were quietly reading and playing, until they talked me into letting them go swimming (the pool water is in the mid-60s... brrr!). We'll probably go to the library later this afternoon, and pick up a couple of groceries while out.
Have I mentioned how much I love my life, and being a mommy to these many blessings??? Wow, so much to be thankful for!! Have a wonderful weekend with your loved ones!