Author: Kendra
• 11:48 AM
Thanksgiving is one of my favourite holidays.. The house filled with the smell of sautéing onion & celery, roasting turkey, & voices. I harbour many memories from days gone by in which I was a child & when my children were younger & we lived stateside. 

Celebrating American holidays while living overseas can be far more difficult. First off, cranberries aren’t traditional where I live & the only way I can find them, aside from overpriced Ocean Spray cranberry sauce, is via the dried fruit section of my local health food stores or grocery. This year, I splurged the big bucks on the pre made type in a jar.. That’s living on the edge folks.

Turkey. It brings it’s own hue of troubles. I don’t have a large selection to choose from & it’s limited even more when I have to read the labels thanks to annoyingly pesky food allergies. Did you know that some companies inject fowl with corn or wheat?! True story that, & nothing says, “Give thanks” quite like losing your turkey on the dinner table, or watching your kid crawl across the floor because his joints hurt so much from ingesting wheat.
Yet, not to be totally ungrateful for the dilemmas that it brings, it makes us more grateful for what we can find & use. The changes to our menu are pretty odd, I’ll give it that, but it adds to the luster of celebrating an American holiday in Australia.. & let’s face it there is nothing “normal” about a mixed cultural family.

We constantly mix our words up & find ourselves explaining Australian terms to our American family & vice versa. Our children use to be convinced they could speak 2 languages because they’d interpret things one or the other of us said for family or friends who suddenly seemed utterly confused by the words we spoke. I’m pretty sure few of us will forget the lecture we all received over the luncheon table one day as our 5 year old explained dummy vs pacifier to us.. Just last night we debated the use of the terms dentures vs false teeth.. It’s really not a wonder our neighbours find us to be such odd peoples.

So here we are, Thanksgiving again. I’d had plans to celebrate in style even if it was only the 4 of us present. Games, fancy tables, the whole huge feast, & our traditional Christmas Movie to put the night to bed with. But life happened & and it changed everything.

Which is why I found myself in the grocery last night, Wednesday, picking up our normal groceries & chucking a couple of fresh chickens in the trolly. I’d all ready read the ingredient label on ever single turkey in the meat department & each one made me roll my eyes & mutter about the stupidity of adding anything to meat.

Mr S caught us up & we were wandering down the final isle of the shop.. one child debating the choices of yogurt while the other said the beauty of a dairy allergy was that he wasn’t faced with such BORING choices. While they debated onward I noticed a section of frozen turkeys.

I let out a soft chuckle which brought Mr S over to ask what was up. I pointed out that the turkeys in purple weren’t fresh they were clearly frozen & we had one just like in the freezer, but that unfortunately it was purchased prior to the corn & wheat issues. Then I noticed turkeys in green wrappers, the only ones I hadn’t previously looked at. I picked one up & was delighted to see that aside from potato starch & sugar {why?!} it was just plain ol’ turkey.

I stood there holding that ice cold turkey in my hands while I debated the idea of putting back chicken & replacing it with turkey. I opposed the idea & threw it back in the freezer when Mr S says, “I wondered what we were doing for Thanksgiving this year..”  I pulled the turkey back out & returned the 2 raw chickens. He didn’t hesitate to offer to put the chickens back himself.. never mind they were $20 cheaper then the frozen turkey no squashing his beloved thick cut fruit bread.

Nope, the only cry after the turkey was in the trolly was, “So, what kind of pie are we having.” That, my friends, is what I’m truly thankful for. A husband, who gets it without a need for any explanation. The one who, despite only being in the business of celebrating the holiday for the past 16 years, is only worried about the pie instead of the insane price I paid for a small frozen turkey.

This is, after all, the same man who insisted I buy the turkey 2 years ago when I firmly stated we weren’t having turkey because the prices were getting insane. After all, “We only have turkey once a year & it’s tradition. Buy the turkey.” “But..” “Buy the turkey, we’ll eat it. We’ll make everyone eat it.” Which wasn’t a lie either.. there was turkey on Nana’s plate & she despises the stuff.

So, what kind of pie are you having? 
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Author: Kendra
• 5:46 PM
Thank you all for the lovely sweet comments, notes, emails, & Facebook messages of love, prayer & support as we travel this road with our boy. He's doing really really well & even managed to survive his appointment with our beloved Dr T. Our boy tested positive for Irlen/SSS {Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome}, which wasn't at all a surprise to us.

We strongly suspect it is playing a huge roll in some the anxiety he is dealing with, but to what degree we weren't sure. I kept prepping him for the upcoming appointment by reminding him how awesome Dr T is & that she never minds if anyone lays on the sofas or chairs while it's not their turn. The night before he declared that he wasn't nervous at all. Morgan was delighted to hear that news because he seriously adores Dr T, & had spent many many days telling Jayden how funny & kind she is.

When it was his turn he calmly climbed into the chair next to Dr T & read the stories she asked him, but, as is often normal in our home, couldn't tell her as much about it as he should have been able to. I've often lamented that this boy's reading comprehension is low unless he takes a laboriously long time to read. He also struggled with the next set of tests she gave him, but she never makes failing seem so bad. She tells them how smart they are & how great they are for trying over & over.

She's often impressed with the coping mechanisms each child she meets has come up with in order to get through the daily grind. She noticed our boy had a habit of head bobbing. This is true, but then his whole body is often in motion so it's difficult to decide which portion of him is moving & why. However, she caught the head bobbing as a way he was coping with keeping track of things in math. I actually burt out laughing when she pointed that out & told her that normally he's so busy wrapping himself up in the curtain I can't see anything but a flash of child before I drag him back out to finish his work.

Having been through this process with our eldest it was a calmer experience watching our younger child go through this. It was so interesting to watch him hold up the tints to his eyes & watch his body either lurch {wrong colour for him} or come to a complete halt in movement. At one point he was unsure about a colour & I just looked at the Dr & pointed under the table: Jayden's foot was thumping. She suggested he try the other pair & his foot came to a complete stop as he gawked around the room & commented about how calm he felt. The child who'd been huffing & puffing when anxious or unsure of himself was breathing normally. His shoulders dropped & he just sat there looking around. When Dr T suggested he go to the window & have a peep outside our boy didn't hesitate. He told us everything he could see & then commented on how clear everything looked instead of fuzzy.

Our eldest had a change in colours too, which are closer to my current tints. As normal he'll have something like 4 billion colours in his tints. Okay, maybe only 4, but it's always amazing to me when he has so many! Jayde & I each only have 2. My tints are darkening up, which isn't a surprise to me either because I've been struggling with a lot of migraines & fatigue again lately.

We're currently waiting on SpecSavers to hustle up with our new frames so we can pop them in the mail to Dr T, who will ship them off to the Irlen Lab for us. Prayerfully our frames come in tomorrow so we can get our glasses prior to Christmas.

In the mean time Morgan will keep working with his lovely Viza Blue paper via Optix & Jayden will now be using Zena Grey via Optix. Both are part of Australian Paper & can be purchased via OfficeWorks. I had to purchase the Zena online because our local office shop {not OfficeWorks} was out of stock & our boy is desperate to finish off his math book in order to wrap his school year up.

Check out the difference in his handwriting & math skills in the photo below. I sat there smug as anything while he was working & he kept giving me the stink eye & finally said, "STOP! Are you sneaking photos of me?" "No." "Well, you're creeping me out!" So I told him to fetch his old math book & put them side by side. I also pointed out I hadn't had to ask him to rewrite any numbers which is when he started grinning too.

As an aside, the math problem on the white paper is actually one of his neater problems. Yep, neater.. I'm insanely curious to see how writing & spelling will go for this kid now & super anxious for his new glasses to come. Crazy, how colour can help or hurt, right?
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Author: Kendra
• 12:00 AM
A few weeks ago I walked into the kitchen & found the Weet-Bix on the counter with a gaping hole in the box. I looked at it for a minute & sighed.

Mr S is a die-hard Hawks fans. For those of you not living in Australia they've finished as Aussie Rules Footy Champs 3 years running now.. The problem is Morgan is a Cat's fan. If you don't live in Australia you're probably thinking, "No big deal.."

But let's just say arch rivals doesn't generally touch too closely on the ugliness of a match between these two clubs.. They can be pretty ugly pretty quickly. We're talking fights, umpires screaming, match bans, the works.

Morgan is the sole, & only unfortunate, Cats fan in the house. So when he was sent off to fetch the Weet-Bix for Mr S last month he popped the box in the trolly & chuckled. No one really tought about it until Mr S went to put away the Weet-Bix & there atop the front of the box was a Cat's player. Morgan burst out laughing & said, "Gotcha! I could have gotten the plain box, but I figured you'd REALLY appreciate seeing Selwood every morning while you had breakfast.."

Well, Mr S fixed the problem & attacked the box with a pair of scissors. Unfortunately he missed the picture on the back of the box & proceeded to puncture the cereal bag so I had to transfer the whole lot of it to another box. I noticed the new box in the cupboard, delivered to us by the Grocery Delivery man, a die hard Tiger's fan, has the same picture on the front.. It also has a Tiger's player on the back. I chuckled while I threw it up in the pantry & considered writing to Weet-Bix to ask when the Cricket stuff will be back on the boxes..
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Author: Kendra
• 4:50 PM
I realise we’ve been on a blogging strike for over a month now, & considering the emails I’ve gotten I thought it might be wise to update the blog. Truthfully life has been crazy & busy with all sorts of stuff happening & by the time the day ends it’s all I can do to keep my eyes open to get in the bed! Needless to say blogging took a backseat, all though I told a friend I might consider blogging random photos with completely unrelated posts because I was even being slack on photo taking around here. She thought the idea pretty clever, but I’m afraid no random sharks or roos would stand still long enough for a photo.

We ended Term 3 with a delightful closure & soaked up every moment of our weeks off. Unfortunately, they weren’t all bliss as our youngest child witnessed something horrific that set off a bad enough anxiety attack we landed in the ER with him the night before Term 4 was due to start. It was a harrowing experience that I’d like to never repeat & the emotional roller coaster since has been even harder to climb.

It brought back memories of when our first born was quite sick & we felt utterly hopeless in knowing what was wrong or how to help him.. it makes you grateful for Drs who know what to look for & how to deal with the problems that arise, doesn’t it?

The emotional roller coaster we’re dealing with now is a pretty crazy ride, & I’ve never been one to delight in any form of a fair ride to be honest. He made some great progress in his first week of recovery while we followed out instructions, to a T, from the the therapist. However he had some setbacks due to a bully & an equally ugly situation at the park. It set us back in his second week & was so much harder to come back from.

I use to say, a lot, that I hid in the pantry when the kids were younger & hit major milestones. It’d go in there to have a cry then pop out again right as rain & ready to cheer them on, what a funny memory it was to think about while I was standing in my bedroom bawling like a baby while taking a moment for myself during this crazy crazy ride.

This has been a good week. A delightful week. A week in which we’ve been more protective then we probably needed to be of our child. He explained it best last night when he said, “My medicine helps my brain know that I’m not scared, but sometimes my insides still think I am. I hate that part because they won’t listen to my brain to be quiet & stop being afraid.” Then he danced off for a campout in the lounge room as happy as a lark.

It’s a journey, & one I wish we weren’t on, but we are & there’s nothing we can do but plod it together arm in arm. I’m grateful for family that understands we’re not avoiding them right now, but giving our child space to heal in. I’m pained when my son lashes out & screams, “You didn’t see what I saw!” I’ve stood there & cried right along side him while telling him he has every right to be angry & sad & every other emotion he’s dealing with all rolled into one. Life goes on, it waits for no one. 

I’m so grateful for a husband who whisks me away every morning & evening for a walk so I can pretend that life is perfectly awesome as the rising & setting of the sun. So we can laugh & share the highs & lows of our days. I’m grateful for a teenage son who willingly sits beside the bathtub to keep his little brother company. There was a time when that same teenager was just a preschooler & would intentional pinch or slap himself when baby brother cried. Why? Because when he’d say “ow” baby brother would roll with laughter.

These days they talk about all sorts of grown-up-ish things.. The latest item they are taking apart & putting back together.. I’m pretty sure it’s nerf guns this week because there are enough springs & screws all over the place to drive me batty. Yet each one is known & named & each altered device is preciously guarded lest someone should hurt themselves. There’s chatter of a robotics club they are looking at starting, & which character got the raw end in which book.. or the exclamation that everything bad happens in Kansas.

My youngest missed the memo about our beloved Paris, which we can’t help but say with our phoney French accent from our French studies this year. He knows something happened, he knows the country closed it’s borders & he knows that the world is right because the sun rises every day, but he can’t handle any more information then that. Not without a break down, or a set back. He holds on to the innocence the rest of us wish we still had in todays aching, breaking, & hurting world. 

Sometimes I envy that. The bliss. Then I am reminded to pray & my heart breaks all over again. For all the wrongs & hurts. For the lowly places so many are coming from & going to. For the depravity of it all. The loss of sanity & common sense while we all suffer the invasion of incomprehensible selfishness.

Then he runs through & squeals with delight about some new idea that’s brewing.. or the building excitement that his Cricket season is starting. Soon. This week. Then fear creeps in as he worries about all the strange people he’ll have to be around. If he’ll have enough power & energy to run without getting weak. He wonders how much fun he’ll have & what colour his team will be. He can’t wait to start, & for a moment he’s the same sweet boy he was before, even if just for a moment.

School carries on in it’s own strange way. We’re nearing the finish line here for the year, but math just won’t seem to go away. Or spelling. So we plod onward & upward despite the cries from one that math is a horrible awful enemy, nearly as bad as glue. Glue has been his mortal enemy since he could utter the words “mortal enemy”. I dunno why, the stickiness I guess.

He’s good at math & can do most problems in his head, but transferring it to paper discombobulates him. He’s being tested this week for Irlen/SSS. He’s excited & nervous. I agree with him.  His brother told him to stop fussing it’ll be awesome; at least someone is excited about the upcoming appointment! 
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Author: Kendra
• 3:16 PM
I've been re-reading this book, or listening I suppose. I listen to the audio book & then grab my hard copy & highlight it to death. The objective was that I was going to reread it & highlight all the key parts for my husband to have a quick go-over.. The problem with a great book is that sometimes you feel the need to highlight the whole darned thing. I've resisted, but it's always tempting.

This is just one of those books where you wish you'd had it from the beginning. Or maybe not, because you're totally different then me. It's a book I'd love to have known about 10 years ago when my own SWC showed me that it really didn't matter what consequence was coming his way. He was his own person & nothing was going to change that.

It's not that I had a problem with him being his own person, not a bit. I had bigger fish to fry. Like the whole staying in bed situation, or potty training, or.. & as he got older things got crazier. The thing about well meaning mammas, especially those who love Jesus & want their children to follow suit is that they often believe every misstep or unwarranted look means that their child's heart is in the very wrong place.

Now don't get me wrong, I know that the Bible tells us that where our treasure is there our heart is also. Or that the words & thoughts stem from the heart. I'm very well acquainted with verses that discuss the overflow of the heart into our lives. Here's the thing though, you can have an amazingly wilful child who's heart is on fire for Jesus. I know it goes against everything you've ever heard from some pretty big names in the Christian parenting world, but it's still true.

That's the secret I wish I'd known years & years ago. I remember the day I looked at my husband & started crying because my SWC's feet could be heard upon the floor. We saw some pretty big changes in our SWC when we removed some food issues from his daily diet. They are still big triggers for him, but the person he is on the inside.. the one who makes me think what a great lawyer or politician he'd make is always there. If you have an SWC you know exactly what I'm talking about. That glint they get in their eye when you say, "Stop stomping so loudly.." & they proceed to stomp, but at a much quieter level. After all, they did comply with what you asked. You didn't ask them to stop stomping, you asked them to stop stomping so loudly..

Yep, we still have those types of days. Here's the thing though, I've learned to smile through them. A few years ago I went to bed after shouting at my SWC who then in turn burst into tears & said, "You always shout at me I don't think you even love me!" He ran & hid under the quilt in his room while I stood in the middle of the house bawling like a big baby. He heard me crying & came running back screaming & started hugging me begging me to stop crying, but the thing was he was still so mad at me that he ran back to his bed again & hid back under the covers where we heard him scream in absolute frustration. I still feel guilty & tear up thinking about that horrible day.

You know, I don't even remember what was so horrible that I shouted at him. I don't. I just remember going to bed completely dejected & feeling like that loser Mom who's child will most likely hate her for the rest of his life.. you know, if he doesn't turn out to be a total hooligan & in trouble with the law. I was that kinda low & horrible feeling. I feel asleep crying out for help, for me to understand my kid better.

It was a defining moment for me. I wasn't asking for my kid to be changed or act differently then he did. I wasn't asking for him to have this miraculous "come to Jesus I'll never be bad again in my whole life.." thing. I just wanted to understand him right where he was. I wanted to salvage my relationship with him. Crazy, huh? My kid was all of 9 & I was terrified I was ruining my relationship.

Before you laugh at me about that, let me just tell you that my husband & I would go to bed every night emotionally & physically worn out. He'd walk in the door & I'd completely check-out which meant he had to completely check-in. Our kid could go from the happiest of happy to the ugliest of uglies in less time then it takes to sneeze. Our other child broke down in tears one day & said, "I just wanted this to be a happy day not a shouting day!" So yeah, I was worried. I was worried our son would be alienated from his entire family, & that my friends, drove me to my knees far quicker then anything else could.

Then I heard about this book. I was caught reading it in every spare moment I had! I'm not going to say we had instant changes, bad habits take a long time to break.. & it's funny, you know, because those bad habits were mine, not my child's.

This is my third or fourth reading. Each time I read it I'm awe struck by the similarities of the children in the book and my amazingly awesome SWC.  This is the same kid who, at age 5, spent 8 hours climbing a mountain with the rest of us. He was the youngest person on the adventure. We were probably half a kilometre from the peak when the other child with us said, "I don't think I can do it. I have to stop!" We sat down to take a break, to refuel people & gain strength for that final stretch. Not our SWC. He looked at us for about 30 seconds, turned around & started stomping right up that mountain.

He saw our break as giving in. Quitting. He didn't care if he had to climb that final portion by himself, he was going NOW. We had to chase that kid down & explain to him that no one was quitting, we were just taking a water break. He never sat down, he stood there & started counting. We told him we'd take a 5 minute break & he was determined to count off every second of those 5 minutes. The picture of him at the top of that mountain with that smile on his face. That's way more then, "We made it." That's his, "They didn't quit on me!" smile.

It was my second time reading through the book when I asked my husband for an opinion on the quiz in the front. He was happy to oblige until I asked his opinion on the scores I'd given myself. He didn't really want to answer some of the questions & I told him there was no wrong answer I needed that second opinion.

I learned something valuable that night.. My desire to die on a hill because I believe I'm absolutely right is seen by my husband as the desire to argue something into the ground just for the sake of arguing. Now in all honesty we don't fight that much at all, we disagree from time to time, but I honestly couldn't think of any time in which I'd argued for the sake or arguing.

It was really eye opening, for me, to see how others perceive how I may react to something. Not because it helps me justify to how I've reacted, but because as an SWC you really don't see what your'e doing as wrong. Seriously. I am totally opposed to rule breaking,  I don't tolerate rule breakers & I'm not afraid to tell them so, or to simply leave a situation if I feel that rules are being broken.

I still remember visiting an NFL training camp, way back when the Carolina Panthers were new to the league. We were walking around the field on our way back to the car when I overheard a couple of big beefy linebackers bad mouthing the team that I happened to follow. I stopped dead in my tracks & shouted, "That's incredibly rude!" I do not remember what the family I was with said, but I remember the 2 men stopping & coming over to apologise & admit they shouldn't have bad-mouthed fellow players or teams.

For me, I don't even see the value in arguing for something that doesn't make sense to me. I'll often say, "Well if you feel that way fine. To each his own.." But if you tell me I'm wrong & you haven't got anything to back that up with, you better believe I'm going to take that to the cleaners. Which is why, I probably shouldn't be the least bit surprised that my own SWC is exactly the same way.

Rule breaking offends him on a deep & personal level. Not sticking up for people is like slapping him in the face. He tells us, often, that we should just get rid of him, but deep down he's petrified we'll actually take him seriously. I often say, "I don't get rid of things I love, you're stuck with me forever Mate!" He'll frown until a smile takes over & then move on with life.

I'm not saying this book will change your life, because it very well may not, but what I am saying is that if you're dealing with an SWC, or you are an SWC, it might help shed light on what sets them off. It's funny, being an SWC myself you'd think I'd know, but it's not always as straightforward as you'd think.
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Author: Kendra
• 5:36 PM
We've been a bit slack around here in the blogging world as life has kept us on our toes. I realised we hadn't done a WIR since our 22nd week of school & here we are in our 28th week all ready! It makes a bit more sense as to why we're nearing the end of many studies & wrapping things up.

The warmer weather has arrived, windows are open all day long, summer bedding is out, heaters are off most days, & we're just busy catching up on all the sun we can soak in after another cold grey winter.

Of course there's been plenty of learning going on too, but clearly we've not kept up our weekly posts about that so you'll just have to trust on that level of things. Over the past few weeks history programmes came to an end, grammar books were polished off, & a few new items were brought out to keep us fresh through the end of the year. We've even checked our school calendar to see how many more weeks we have ahead of us, 9 if you're really interested. Our final term will be quite short this year as we're breaking from most main stream studies early, but more about that later..

Last week we added some new items {not pictured} to our memory box as well as the contents all ready in there. We'd been a wee bit slack this term with our box & it was nice to have something fresh to add to it to remind us to pull it out daily again. We added some grammar cards to the box which we spotted for free online. Having wrapped up our grammar programme I wanted things to remain fresh in the boys minds as we continued onward this year without pulling out another grammar programme.

We polished off our last poetry book from the history programme we'd been using & I dusted this lovely old book off the shelf. When I was homeschooled Mom use to read from her own copy of Cheerio's to us. I purchased my own copy 7 or 8 years ago & we pulled it out from time to time, but now the boys are old enough to understand most of what's inside. This book is broken down by months & days. 1 page of poetry/sayings/quotes per day of the month.

We're still plucking away at our devotional this year. It's funny that it's taken us far more then 90 days to finish off, but we've enjoyed every single day of it all the same. It inspired the kids to pull out some of their awesome AIO cds & have a listen & what fun it was to hear some of those very stories mentioned in our book.

We're still reading Live Like A Jesus Freak. I love this book, & my boys were keen to have a read of it from the get-go. They adore the song Jesus Freak & my eldest has become quite interested in the former lead singer & was inspired to read more about the man's faith. The book has really put some hard questions to us & reminded of us some important things as well. It caused my boys, especially the eldest, to stand back during a rough situation & say, "I'm not okay with this." It's been a tough choice to make because it's cut us off from some out-of-the-house aspects we formerly enjoyed, but I felt it was just so important to respect the fact that my son was not only bold enough to stand up for what he felt was right, but to show him that I hear him & I'm willing to make that sacrifice with him. It's such an incredible blessing to see God working in his life, because let's face it we all have days where we wonder if anything we share with our kids is getting through.

We embarked on our new era of history this past week too & delighted in all that we learned. We've wavered a lot in oh we'd approach this particular section of history because, honestly, we have way too many wonderful resources to use. In the end we've come up with a plan that has made everyone really happy & I'll share here & there what we're doing. This past week we read a bit from each of the boosk above, which was a full-on week for us.

We delighted in reading about the Dutch Revolt & learning exactly why the Dutch people wear orange. You know, that's long been a question on everyone's tongues {in this home} during olympic sports. I have no idea why no one has bothered to research it before, expect that our coverage of Olympic Sport is so heavily limited we tend to be a wee bit too fixated while we're watching.

We delved into What Jane Austen Ate & Charles Dickens Knew, but only small bits here & there as we travel through time. The objective being to shed light on terms that would have been used during that time to help us grasp the most from all our readings. The book brought up the best conversation over tea one evening last week as a child asked for a butt of drink, I said that was unacceptable because our table couldn't handle the weight & thus he had to reduce his drink order. The next one ordered a barrel & I made the same comment before saying, "Right I really am thirsty now & request 20 drams of water please." Unfortunately, I was entirely ripped off because I was only given 14 which is the problem with requesting "sips" of fluid instead of a cup full. My fact collector especially loves this book & has delighted in pouring over the charts that are included when we're reading it. It should make our readings of Oliver Twist & Sherlock Holme's twice as fun!

I'm so totally not a fan of Idiot Guide books. I mean the name, for one, is annoying as all get-out, but the fact of the matter is we're nearly entirely done with Our Island Story with only enough chapters to last for Week 29 & thus we needed a new book on British History to continue reading alongside all our learning. This book was recommended by the Winter Promise Curriculum company &, as normal, they pick out absolute winners that we'd normally not look twice at. The book has opened up some really awesome conversation in our home. It's such a delight to have interesting in-depth conversations about the things we're learning as our children grow older, isn't it?

We won't, generally, be using MOH & SOTW side by side each week, but using a schedule I've devised that lines the 2 volumes up somewhat. My boys really adore the indepth information in MOH Vol. 3 & insisted it could not be left aside even if our planned curriculum didn't schedule it. I spent last Friday planning out a schedule that lined them up. This period of time may take us a wee bit longer to get through, but there's no rush.

We are truly enjoying the BookShark 6 Science which focuses first on Chemistry. We're adding in a few books from our shelves to beef it up a bit, but honestly it doesn't need it. If we didn't own the books we wouldn't purchase more to go with it, that's for sure. Morgan is doing this one solo right now & he's really enjoying himself all though I think he'd be just as keen to be turned loose with the chemistry kit.. his greatest desire is for permission to use a big of magnesium powder to make a lovely big bang..

Jayden is still dutifully working away at his weather science & enjoying it. Last week he finally wrapped up the 3rd week, which sounds crazy because we've actually been working on it for much longer then that! We got a little sidetracked with weather exploration & so forth. He has a study on clouds coming up soon & I suspect there'll be some cloud watching happening..

Speaking of weather we've been using the Study Jam website {included links in the schedule} alongside our studies. Some are only slide shows where as others are simple videos followed up with a quiz to see how much you remembered. He loves doing the tests to prove his weather knowledge, which totally cracks me up because I tend to choke on tests.

Morgan pulled out the Scratch Programming book Mr S purchased for him. We've had it for a while, but he was quite busy with a Java programming class that was time sensitive so he worked with that & now that it's wrapped up {for now} he's moved on to some fun & free scratch programming. He's really enjoying creating simple things & having Mr S test him, man have the tables turned there! Mr S use to create games & have the kids test them over & over until things were exactly how he wanted them before they were released. Funny thing is, one of the games the kids love the most, & still request, is the "prehistoric" version of one. Jayde's keen to get into some programming now too, but settled for helping test games last week & offer suggestions up.

The weather was amazing last week & we threw down our books & hit the road one day last week. Not that we had that far to travel! One of my children was nervous to use a local walking path because we've run into a fellow walker with an aggressive dog that hasn't been leashed. Rather then reassure him, yet again, that the dog was likely not to be present, because I honestly had no idea, we hit the beach a little further up the road instead. I managed to get the car jammed down a very narrow track & had to back up praying the whole time no one in their nifty 4WD came down, but we all survived & then enjoyed a beautiful walk.

Friday was Patriot's Day & our intention was to have a slightly somber ceremony in the morning. Reading a few articles about the days events, looking at some child friendly pictures, & then praying for survivors. Our plans went slightly askew with that, but we still decorated for the occasion & someone made us one of the Twin Towers. They'd intended to go make the other & perfect the first one, but the day got away from us.

And that pretty much wraps up our week. A club meeting was canceled due to most members, aside from ourselves, being sick. No tennis this past week either as unfortunately our coach was out sick! We did however take a few more walks, including into a field not far from our home. We'd been over on the weekend & had spotted a birds egg & after coming home to look it up realised it could be one of 3 different birds. Based on the location we were pretty certain we knew which & as it was abandoned we decided we'd trek back to see if we could find it & possibly blow it out to save for our Nature Shelf. Unfortunately, we had no luck finding it, all though we had a grand time investigating a million other things, collecting leaf skeletons, & climbing trees.

We actually did math & spelling this week as well, all though I seem to be lacking photos. Go figure! Each child is on a mission to finish off their current math book prior to the end of the year. One has been reviewing previous lessons & is nearly caught up while the other has been enjoying a steady forward plod. They both have 9 lessons left in their books, not counting the review one is doing. However, math will continue until we break for the year late in December.
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Author: Kendra
• 6:01 PM
I finally finished putting together the last 4 weeks of our weather unit this past weekend. It was more then time, especially since we need them for the week ahead!

All up there are a total of 7 weeks of study inside. We just used the two books we had, videos from YouTube, & the weather stations we all ready owned. It's been fun thus far & we're looking forward to a bit more learning before we wrap it up.

We've used some of our science notebooking pages for things here & there, especially the nifty vocabulary pages which my boy has learned to fill in electronically with images & text.

I put all the schedules, links, & a few notebooking pages together & brought it on over to share with anyone who's interested. There are direct links in the pdf for the books we used, but authors names are supplied should you all ready own them or have access through your local library.

I know I'll be asked about age & grade level, but that's a question I've intentionally avoided. Here's the thing, what works for one family may not work for another. You'll be able to peek at the books used & decide for yourself if it will work for your family. The child enjoying this study is 12, if that helps give you a more definitive answer. However, while his elder brother {14} isn't actively using the study he's picked up a bit from it himself.

You can download the pdf here if you're interested. Enjoy!
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