Author: Kendra
• 12:00 AM

Even the dog is enjoying the warmer weather. It might have something to do with the fact that he gets to have more leisurely walks after we've worn him out with a bit of a fast paced walk or run. There really is nothing like that first beautifully warm day after a long spell of icy cold days. We've indulged in picnic lunches quite a few times over the past couple of weeks. It's just so hard to stay indoors when it's this beautiful outside.

Our nights are still quite chilly around here, but knowing that a warmer day is just ahead doesn't make them quite so bad. We're looking forward to taking the books & quilt outside for schooling, or maybe that's me as the boys are all ready spending plenty of time doing their studies on the trampoline or atop the cubby house..
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Author: Kendra
• 12:00 AM

As we inch closer to our big Australian History study I'm constantly snapping photos of books in the library. Picture books, chapter books, non-fiction, adult, it doesn't really mater. If I think it will lend itself well to what we have happening I snap a photo. I find it's the quickest & easiest way not to forget she title & author of a book that I want to put on my list.

I'm pretty sure I have an entire file of pictures that happens to be nothing more then library books. On the flip side it's come in really handy when I can clearly see the cover of a book, but for the life of me can't remember the name of it!
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Author: Kendra
• 3:55 PM
It seems I can't keep up with our weekly reviews, which isn't the end of the world, but we sure do love looking through them at the end of the year & seeing how we progressed. So, despite this being more then a week out of date we'll back up to week 21 of our school year. All though, between you & me, I think we messed up our count somewhere & we may be a week or more ahead of the 21 mark.. not that it truly matters.

Both boys are still working fairly independently on things & that means I don't have as many photos of the day to day items because while they are busy doing their school, I'm generally busy doing other things as well. I did manage to snag a few though:

Not sure why it looks like he's counting on his fingers, he wasn't, all though he was deep in thought. So much so he never heard me suggest he put on his glasses until I finally put them on him myself. He covered exponents, powers, & basic decimal work that week. Most of it was review for him & he's not felt the need to dwell much on each lesson. The first three pages of his book, for any lesson, cover new material, the next 3 are review. That means the first page of every lesson is mandatory, after that it's up to them if they skip to the review pages or not, at least 1 review page is mandatory each week. If we see slippage in skills then we're firm about how many extra review pages must be completed in a week too.

Yes, he's doing school in a onsie, & no I didn't ask him to take it off. Chances are he would have, very happily. However, changes are also pretty high there would have been nothing on underneath it. Yikes!! Jayde hit a small roadblock with math because he wasn't doing his fact practice & quickly realised he needed to get back to the facts each day if he didn't want to spend all day at the table. Problem solved.

This naughty little fellow joined us for various language arts lessons too. Have I mentioned how much I despise Squeakers joining us for language lessons? He prefers to add his opinion on all subjects not to mention take a chunk out of the pages. We had to hold off on the writing assignment because we started our LA sooner then history, & the LA writing assignment was based on a history lesson they hadn't covered yet. Other then that a lot of information they are learning is still in the review category, all though not all of it. We're still enjoying using the WP LA courses at this stage.

History was light this week, but that's okay. We're reading portions of all of the above books. The top book is actually a flimsy paperback Bible that I covered in some heavy card stock. Sometimes we read directly from the Bible & sometimes we gather around while we listen to an audio version via You can select any Bible version of your choosing & listen for free over there. Some versions have more then one narrator so you can choose the one you prefer the most. We listened to several different narrators for the fun of it & one of them had us in absolute stitches as he read out the genealogy of Christ.

Swim lessons were as normal. Excuse the wild hair, they had it all whacked off on that weekend. We had a few practices as well as they are trying to perfect a variety of things. We'd like to take the summer off from lessons, & they'd like to wrap up the level they are on & obtain their certificates. We'll see how it goes.

Both boys are still working daily in assigned book selections. Jayden has decided he's really enjoying mysteries so we laid a few prior selections aside so he could indulge in another mystery from the series he was reading previously. Morgan is currently on a Henry kick & found it quite funny to find an old friend, Ramona, in the book. He declared, over chores one day, that Henry can be quite naughty at times even if he is kinda funny. Clearly not naughty enough that he's bothered by the book, he really couldn't handle the new Hardy Boys books because he found the name calling & other nonsense in them too irritating to handle.

Plenty of exercise outside this week with the weather warming up. All those rocks are not generally on our beach during the summer, but in the winter they roll in, pile up, & cause quite a masterpiece. They were so crazy down there during this week that we opted not to forgo walking on the beach & walk on the track that runs along the coast. The dog loves either one because on the beach he can run to his hearts content, & on the track he has to run to keep pace with the boys on their bikes. Yes, my boys heads look red, believe it or not both boys have quite red hair in their baby photos as well. All though most of the time they have a more blondish look to them.

We spent a lot of time outside, & continue to do as the weather warms up. It's hard to pass up the chance to be in the sun after a long grey winter..

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Author: Kendra
• 12:00 AM

Nana turned 80 this past week, something that didn't escape anyone's mind as the days ticked closer. We conspired earlier this year to get together at our place as the bush camping we use to do with the family isn't something Nana is confident with anymore.

With all the space we have we opted to host anyone who could make it into town to celebrate. We had people staggering in at various times, which is pretty normal when we have family get togethers.

To keep Nana occupied while others were arriving we gave her a funny birthday badge that lights up & flashes when you push the button. We told her she had to wear it all weekend, but you know I think she forgot to wear it on her actual birthday!

There's a pretty funny story in our family about Nana's Knickers. You see Nana always has a to take lots of knickers with her whenever she goes anywhere. We've been woken up at family camping events before to the announcement that she's missing a pair, or two.. We've had knicker emergencies before where we've gotten the daily count of how many she has left clean in her bag, but the story that takes the cake was when she was in hospital last year with a broken hip. Half delusional on pain medication she kept asking people to bring her more knickers! The requests were getting pretty insane & it was a two-person effort. I'd collect the next load of knickers & hand them off to a brother-in-law who'd then take them to Nana. When I got the 6th call for more knickers I decided I was going to put an end to the entire problem. I went to her house & took out the entire knicker drawer & sent it with my bil to Nana. I figured there could be no mistake that she'd have any left at home this way. It worked, except she was bewildered as to why he had the whole drawer with him.

We teased her & told her for her birthday she was getting 80 pairs of knickers. Which was only made more funny when she rolled up to the front door on Friday & told me that her neighbour asked if she was moving out. You see Nana had a suitcase, a travel bag, her handbag, & her rolling walker with her. When she told her neighbour she was not moving out just going away for the weekend & wanted plenty of clean knickers, Nana's neighbour informed her that she, the neighbour, has smaller undies & doesn't need to take so many bags with her. I laughed so hard I'm pretty sure I pulled a muscle.

And so I teased Nana about her knicker situation more. I told her that we were planning to play a game this weekend entitled, "Pin the Knickers on Nana.." To which, of course, she highly doubted & kept saying, "Oh suuuuure, Kendra..." 

While we waited for the final bits of company to straggle in on Saturday so we could take Nana on the wackiest bike ride of her life, I mean what else would you do when you turn 80?! I went to the kitchen white board & drew a pair of old fashioned knickers on the board & entitled it with the game name. She roared with laughter about it unaware of our secret plan for the evening ahead.

So off we all went on our lovely bike ride, which was really fun but very crazy. To all we ran off the walking & bike path forgive us, we don't get out often! Nana had loads of fun & was treated to a hot chocolate afterwards while the rest of us hustled back to the house to prepare for the great escapade of the evening..

80 pairs of knickers strung throughout the home as a lovely birthday garland. We ran out of rope & had to dig out more to string them up with. then we ran out of pegs & had to get more of them out too. The laughter that ensued as we decorated the house was quite something, but not nearly as funny as turning around & realising that everyone present was hanging up underpants & the floor was still covered with the things! Some opted to don a few pairs in an attempt to help get them hung up quickly.

Needless to say there was a bit of silence when Nana was heard coming in the kitchen calling out she'd just been to have a hot cocoa & a bit of cake, as we all waited to see her reaction when she noticed our hideous decorations. She walked in the lounge room took one look around & said, "So, I see you bought 80 pairs of knickers then!" She walked out, made herself a cup of tea, grabbed some cheese & sat back down like nothing had happened at all.

She knows how to take it all in stride! Mind you, we did find her in absolute stitches when a few of the guys came out in the most colourful pairs. Turns out knickers make great hair, super hero pants, fake hair, & so forth. There was a game going on to see who could manage to work the most into a costume, but the stakes went higher each time someone accomplished it.. 

In fact the only reasonably sane thing I think we did to celebrate Nana turning 80 was pulling out Ticket To Ride.. never mind how late it was, or that we had to stop a few times to don fresh knicker costumes, attack each other with tins of silly string, or let off party poppers.. It's pretty normal for a family gathering around these parts.
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Author: Kendra
• 12:00 AM

The kids have been on a real footy kick lately, not that it's any real surprise considering it 'tis the season, but man they've gone through a lot of footballs this year! They've lost or kicked so many over fences this year, most of which have been returned to them in one fashion or another. They were pretty blessed one a neighbour felt bad that their ball went flat in his yard after they carefully waited 3 days for him to return home just to get permission to retrieve it. He surprised them the following day with a brand new footy. 

Said footy was taken on a walk with us last week. They kicked it back & forth for a while before telling me I could have a go. I of course kicked it right into the blackberry patch. Sweet of me, dontcha think? Morgan braved crawling up in a pottaroo path under the brambles to retrieve it & asked me to hold an offending branch back out of the way. I was made to promise beyond all promises ever made that I would not let go of the branch. I assured him I would not let go of the branch even if a shark jumped up out of the ocean & tried to rip my leg off. Not even if the crazy seal came over & tried to eat my hair. And especially not if the crazy gulls tried to drop a clam on my head. I would hold that stick until he came back out.

So imagine his anger when he popped back out that little path & the stick I was suppose to be holding popped him just above the eye. Yeah, I'm not sure who screamed loudest because we were both screaming pretty loud. I did not, however, let go of the stick! The branch I was holding broke off the bush at the very same moment the poor kid climbed out of the thicket. I didn't even take the above photo, that's how great I was holding the stick!!

Yeah, he's still sporting a lovely scrape above his eye to which, when people ask what on earth happened, he has to say, "Mom didn't hold the stick very well." You can just imagine the ugly looks I get over that one.. I told him we should make up some absurd story of how the ball actually went onto the footy field & as he dived to mark it he got plowed over by the pros, but as he pointed out, "No one's really gonna believe that rubbish!" 

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Author: Kendra
• 12:00 AM
It was a crazy week here preparing for Nana's 80th which we were hosting, but school happened all the same!

The boys knew they had Friday off, a semi-light day on Monday & the other three days of the week to meet pre-set goals. It works well & at the end of the week everything was done, dusted, & ready to party. Or at least the people were!

The kids are working a lot on their own, so not as many pictures, I find that my kids work a lot better when I'm not in the room, so I tend to stay busy with other things when I know they are doing their solo work.  I still managed to capture a few day-to-day type moments.

We're still working on our Bible study in 2 Timothy with the Discover 4 Yourself Series. We tend to work together at the table on this & while we may, sometimes, work through all of 1 day's suggested work, other days we might not. It depends on the day & how much we have going on. There can be a lot of stuff to gleam from one day so we just go with the flow.

Poor Jayden missed out on packages this week. Okay, so in all honestly nearly all the packages we get are books & they are nearly all school books so he considers all the books mine. Imagine his extreme irritation when he saw this problem in his math book this week! Not to mention the same day a package arrived with another book in it.. for his brother.

Morgan embarked with his new math book as well this week, all though I don't seem to have a photo of that. He was pretty comfortable with the lesson & felt good enough bout it that at the end of the week he scheduled himself to move forward in the math book.

I walked in & found Jayden reading his book. He's been really nervous about branching off on his own for assigned books. Don't ask me why, this is the same kid who takes WW2 books to bed, or books about Ancient Rome to bed, all books he's pulled off our shelves or taken out of the library. He'll read them to himself & then tell us all the weird facts he's learned, or when I mention what we could learn next in history he revolts because, "I all ready read about that, can't we learn about something I haven't learned yet." Don't ask me why he's so funny about the assigned books which are truly below him to help build his confidence in this area. Either way, he finished his assigned book last week & delighted us all with an incredibly difficult code on the board which held the answer to the mystery he'd been reading.

Excuse the colour of the photo, this boy prefers to read in odd lighting because his eyes don't handle the white light as well. He's been plucking along in his book & doing great, all though by the end of the week his eyes were incredibly worn out. After his discovery at the footy last week, however, I did notice he was rarely seen without glasses during the week. I did catch him playing a video game without them & put them upon his face, I got a thanks for it so no worries there. He'll actually get motion sickness from video games or a migraine if he doesn't wear the glasses.

We spent a couple of days reading introductions & a bit of information from a stack of new books. All of them are lovely & the kids are so excited to see that Medieval Jobs book. When I opened it up to read there were a few whoops followed by, "This is the book isn't it! You got the next one in the series!!" Forbidden Gates is our current read aloud {I so need to update the side bar on my blog..} & has the potential to be quiet interesting. I'm curious to see where it will go.

I'm always torn on MOH, I do love that they show Biblical history intermingled with traditional history, but sometimes I feel as though the lessons within lack meat. All though from the looks of Vol. 3 the lessons will eventually get deeper. Still, though, we've only just started Vol II so it'll be interesting to see how the lessons go as we continue forward.

Mr S left a message on the board for the kids after we'd had a rough evening. Truthfully people were just tired & worn out, but he left them a little reminder, which the kids dutifully opted to change the meaning/message of. Seriously cracked me up when I found it! Mind you, these are the same kids who lodged firm complaints that Daddy wasn't doing school properly when he tried to teach them during a week I was sick. I'm guessing things haven't changed much since that time all those years ago.

During spelling one day somebody thought it would be interesting to see how AAS would work if you could only write with your feet. Never mind he's using his hand to control his foot, doesn't have his glasses on, & proceeded to knock half the magnets off the board. Yeah, it didn't last long, all though he did manage to spell the word he was writing correctly! He moved up another step last week all though we found one of his review words started tripping him up again. He was really frustrated with that.

Jayden, on the other hand is still working on a considerable amount of review to be able to move into the next book. We're both a little frustrated with it & I'm seriously considering putting him back into Sequential Spelling. He tends to learn better on rote memorisation, thus he can tell me all the wonderful spelling rules like crazy, but spell the words by applying the rule?! And that is why this incredibly smart little boy hates word problems in math.

Mr S discovered the kids had changed the meaning of his message so he proceeded to leave a new message on the board the following day. They debated changing fish to sock, but decided that since Mr S has to pass the fish shop on the way home it was probably wiser not to. Ha!

We wrapped up our week Thursday afternoon with a bit of science. Despite the boys desires to jump face first into earth science, I just wasn't prepared & pulled out our original plan of biology. They were cool with it once I pointed out that after wrapping up the science portion of our day we were done. In fact the youngest amongst us was heard to day, "What? We're done. All ready? I haven't even had time to complain that this is taking too long yet!" At least he's honest, right?

Both boys did handwriting practice which they scheduled out for themselves. As Jayde is still taking a firm stand against cursive he's doing printing. Whatever works, to be honest. They both learned how to work the new dryer as we worked on life skills of doing your own laundry this week. And it was all hands on decks to get rooms situated for the incoming guests so all was ready when Nana arrived Friday evening.

We also listened to more of our Little House In The Big Woods cd which is usually on in the car. Still having issues getting the radio to work which we need to sort out. We skipped our other audio books this week, all though we had intended to listen to Silver Branch Friday afternoon before company arrived. We got side tracked decorating for a party & trying our hands at yet another version of non-dairy yogurt. It flopped, incase you were wondering. All though while I'm typing this I have yet another version sitting in the kitchen incubating..

Not too shabby considering we were gone all day Sunday to a footy match, were out Monday for swim lessons, & had Friday off as Mr S was home to get things ready for the party.
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Author: Kendra
• 12:00 AM

If it's British, historical, or involves war this kid is all over it. He drew this funny picture of a Minifig recently that totally cracked me up when I found it. I can't decide if it's a British officer from the Revolutionary War era, or a British officer who might have a bit of Bushranger in him with those smoking guns. Either way, I love it!
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