Friday, March 23, 2018

Feb & March Catch Up


What a school year it’s been! I had a friend once tell me she couldn’t fathom writing, publicly, about the curriculum choices of her family because what if God led you to circumstances that meant you ended up doing something entirely different. You know, I’ve thought about that statement a lot in the past because I think it’s fairy common for most of us to start our with fantastic {on paper} ideas & make changes through our year.

This year has been quite the year for my own little gang, & scarily enough we’re not quite done with our first term yet! We started in January as is our normal custom, took time off for the olympics & some deep reflections on our curriculum choices & then made some dramatic changes for our family in regards to curriculum, & are back at things again.

We’ll be taking off a small amount of time for the upcoming holiday & consider that our term break before jumping right into the throws of Term 2. It will likely seem a little strange for us, but I’m so glad we took the time off to enjoy the olympics. Morgan will likely not have the opportunity to do that again, & he soaked up every minute of it that he could.

We wildly cheered on Team USA at ever available hockey match, not to mention we tuned in for every hockey match, which included some late nights and/or early mornings. This boy is a tad gaga for hockey, & knowing how fleeting the years go buy I was delighted to soak it all up with him. We watched the men fall prey, sadly, to the Czech’s in an epic double overtime that resulted in a shoot out. I’m pretty sure our neighbours were terrified something horrific was happening here as we wear our emotions on our sleeves during sporting events.

We also watched the US Women outshoot the Canadian Women in an equally epic double overtime that resulted in a gold medal after the shootout. The neighbours likely presumed we were dead at that point, because we were holding our breath entirely expecting Canada to walk away with that win after the US Goalie’s Flub. Flags were waving like crazy, but until the final puck went into the net it was a nail biting silence that filled our lounge. Mr S walked in the door just in time to join our insanity for that final shoot out.

Oddly enough we also watched the US Men’s Curling Gold Medal Win, in fact we watched so much curling we feel ready to attempt the sport ourselves at this point. Speed skating, bobsledding, ski jump, & Alpine also got our attention. In fact about the only event that we didn’t watch was figure skating, although I did not miss the opportunity to introduce my children to Scott Hamilton.

Our house is askew with rumbled quilts, scattered pencils from a half finished art project, screwed up paper from science notes, half read books, maps, & everything else you can possibly imagine, and here we are again, back to the routine as we welcome the beginning of fall that arrived like an outraged & half starved lion. 

Storms rolled in with such a clamour we all jumped out of bed wondering if the house was going to survive. I, on the other hand, can sleep through pretty much anything & clambered right back into bed, pulled up the quilt & slept soundly until the morning. The men folk huddled together in the lounge room riding out the storm & wondering what on earth was wrong with women that they could sleep through such drama.

It’s been an interesting, nearly complete, Term 1 in which I’ve hard written any of our typical weeks in review. It’s funny how the chaos of life can throw things like that to the curb. Amongst all the memory making there’s also been the harder parts of life, for even the happiest of us must endure them must we not?

We’ve spent weeks convincing the boys beloved Nana that her home phone has not been hacked, that the local phone company is not the reason for everything going right or wrong, & helping her to a variety of medical appointments for both her memory problems & her physical pain issues.

It’s a hard mountain to climb at times, parenting the parent. I won’t lie, I hate it. I don’t hate being there & providing security & grace or even wrapping them in the love they so desperately need. It’s the other parts that I hate. It’s just such an odd feeling to have to parent a parent & nothing in all the world can prepare you for it. On the other hand there are multiple joys & memories to be made. It’s funny how when the brain is scanning memories for where you put your medication it can suddenly pull up stories from a childhood long past & tell you stories you’ve never heard before. 

It’s been a true joy to watch my children rise to the challenges & face them without batting an eye. To adjust their own sails & expectations, take it in stride & keep on going. To recognise a bad day in their Grandmother’s world & to offer an arm of support {quite literally}, a hot cup of tea, & to let her pick any movie she’d like to watch. And in our home that’s a huge offer because we generally only watch “guy” films— Ha!

What a long winded way to wrap up the previous month or two of our lives! It’s been an interesting time to say the least! But rather then tack more here & share our curriculum changes our our current weekly wrap up I think I’ll save those for an entirely new post.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Planner Monday Wk 6


Last week was total insanity here in our home. I was feeling a bit off peak, & absolutely exhausted so wile my planner ended up filled in, I didn't refer to it much beyond Monday. Some weeks are like that though, & you just pick up where you left off. I was feeling better by the end of the week, which was nice as I had a fair amount of things to catch up on.

This week we have a birthday, thus the crazy sloth. I actually stamped & coloured him back at the end of last year or early this year & put him in there. He was a spare one that looks cute, but didn't turn out 100% as I was hoping for with some cards I was making. I took forever to make those cards too & oddly enough I never mailed them out because a certain child allowed a bird to soil on them. Alas, I think those cards were never meant to make it to their destinations...

As for the planner.. I cannot believe it's February already, & I also can't believe my firstborn will be 17 at the end of this week either. Where on earth does the time go? Ahh, I've no idea really.. The stickers in the planner as the same as normal. All the headers: Next week, Goals, This week, To Do, & Fitness are all ones I made. I honestly made a huge batch up at one time on a sheet of A4 attempting to match my colours with the planner colours.

The bigger box stickers are again from Planner Penny, I believe they are Unicorn Cat stickers. I picked them up in her massive sale last month & figured they'd serve double duty with the confetti & bright colours for a birthday week, & then using them again with the unicat stickers at another time. The Car & asterisk are from Studio Kylie. I have 0 clue as to where the birthday candle sticker came from. A few years ago I had some things that needed a new home & gave them away. One day I opened my mailbox to find that the receiver felt so blessed they sent me a stack of stickers, & those adorable candle stickers were included!
The menu section was stamped with the Lawn Fawn Plan On It stamp set & some Versa Colour ink. I'd have to check the ink-pad to know what colour for sure. The Washi is still from the bagful that Mr S gave me, but it's a DoodleBug Sprinkles Washi.

This is a Plum Paper 7x9 Personal Planner, option #3 {vertical all lines} & I've just broken it up to fit my own needs with the homemade stickers. No affiliate codes for it, all though I've you've never ordered one & would like to save $10 I think I can email a code, not sure why they've made it that way instead of a simple link. Or you could pop on to their Facebook or Instagram page & check to see if they ave having a sale.

I ordered mine unpunched & unbound so that I could use the Staples Arc punch on it. I purchased my discs from Discbound Marketplace out of the USA. I do have a Plum Paper cover on it, but I also have a Happy Planner cover on it.

Monday, January 29, 2018

2018 Week In Review: Week 2


I debated skipping a week in review for this week as it was an unusual week for us, especially being week two. But I’m also big on sharing that while we have a lot of great days, everyone has bad ones. It’s just a matter of one foot in front of the other when they occur. So, despite having a semi chaotic week, I figured I’d share about it anyway.

We started out with all new material, but I realised that we’d worked at half pace in some areas & full pace in other areas. So on day 2 we decided to play “catch-up” with the half-paced subjects as well as continue forward movement in math.

Jayde had some catching up in science to do. He really loves the EE science scheduled in his HOD this year. I’m glad, all though I am not a fan. Ironically I’m not a fan of the Apologia science the other one uses & enjoys. Okay, let me be REALLY honest, I don’t really feel the love for most science programmes, but that’s another story altogether.

Jayde finished testing his electric car & ran a couple of experiments on it. I took a 10 second video of one so that he could share it with Mr S that evening, but we had a dinner time fiasco that distracted us from that. As in the crockpot we’d just bought didn’t work & dinner was raw. I had to make a mad dash to the shop to replace the silly thing while the guys attempted to get dinner cooked in an alternative manner.

Morgan thought he had catch-up in items, but in the end didn’t so he spent his week focusing on his math & working on a mapping project for the week. It left him with a fair amount of time to work on his art projects. After trying to convince him for years he should try his hand at digital art, he’s finally bitten the bullet & now it’s hard to drag him away from it! I’ll have to see if he can snag some screen shots to share. We really love that he leaves his projects up so when we walk through the living room we can see the progress he’s making.

Friday was Australia Day & the kids made the burgers for that & organised the games this year. We traditionally play an Australian trivia game & Aussie Pictionary {although we never play by the rules just draw & guess..} We had some serious laughs with that which were so so good for the soul.. Morgan decorated the house for us as I was very tardy on that job this year.

All up a rather slow week for us, especially for our second week of school, but there was a lot of “behind the scene” things that Mr S & I were dealing with this week. More of the the emotional side of caring for an elderly relative is so much greater than the physical side.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Planner Monday: Wk 4


No, I didn't miss the fact that I titled this Planner Monday when it's really a Tuesday, life was a bit chaotic & busy for us this past week which is the way of life when dealing with the care of an older relative at times. So here we are, on Tuesday, writing about Planner Mondays.

It's also not the best photo because I took after collapsing for the evening in the lounge room, which means there were no lights on, but hey it's been documented, right? And lest I should be asked, those temperatures in the top box are in Fahrenheit, otherwise we'd be puddles of humans. I accidentally  sent the weather to Mr S in Fahrenheit the other day instead of celsius & he was like, "What?!" Ahh, we had ourselves a great laugh about it in the end.

This week I went with watermelon. The Watermelon Washi is also from doodlebug or at least I think it it, but I can't seem to find a link for it on their website. I've had it for a few years now, & I have no clue where I got it from, but I really do love it. I'd actually laid that tape down well before finding the printable watermelon stickers which I picked up in a 50% off sale {or something of that nature} over at Planner Penny so they cost just over a dollar. I did print the sheet out twice to get enough watermelon stickers there.

I had intentions of using a freebie BBQ sticker there on the empty block for Australia Day, but life happened & I had to stop what I was doing & dash out. So instead it's blank. I may snag one of the other Watermelon stickers form the Planner Penny set to stick there instead. The little charcoal bbq & mustard bottle are from the free set which you can find here. The only issue I had with the free set was figuring out what size to print it at, & when I reduced this one it was too small & I ran out of time to reprint the little rectangle I intended to use.

The menu section was stamped with the Lawn Fawn Plan On It stamp set & some Versa Colour ink. I'd have to check the ink-pad to know what colour for sure. 

This is a Plum Paper 7x9 Personal Planner, option #3 {vertical all lines} & I've just broken it up to fit my own needs with the homemade stickers. No affiliate codes for it, all though I've you've never ordered one & would like to save $10 I think I can email a code, not sure why they've made it that way instead of a simple link. Or you could pop on to their Facebook or Instagram page & check to see if they ave having a sale.

I ordered mine unpunched & unbound so that I could use the Staples Arc punch on it. I purchased my discs from Discbound Marketplace out of the USA. I do have a Plum Paper cover on it, but I also have a Happy Planner cover on it.

Monday, January 22, 2018

2018 Week In Review: Week 1


It was back to school around our house this past week, & boy was it nice to fall back into routines & structure. To have a semblance of normal in this crazy life we live right now. Life is anything but normal & calm for my family, so when we have that one reliable thing that is.. yeah, it’s good.
Ironically, two days before school was set to start we made some last minute curriculum changes. I was already under a lot of stress from the whole airport saga, & then as I sat down to finalise schedules for the week I felt led to take another route with our oldest. Crazy, I know. We sat him down & had a chat about it, & unrolled the new plans.

So, if you read our back to school curriculum choices & then read this post & think, “That ain’t right!” {you totally get that quote, right?} it’s because we made a small change, that we decided to trial for a couple of weeks before officially editing that post.
We kicked off day one with our normal morning routine. I know morning routines are pretty hot & big in the homeschool world right now, especially if they involve a book basket, but friends this is something my family has been doing for 12 years & the only thing about it that has changed are the books because we haven’t been reading the same one over & over for 12 years!

We decided to start the school year with the book of John. We don’t have a firm pre-planned scheduled for Bible reading this year, so we’ll make our way through John & then move back & forth between the Old & New Testament after that.

Our first read aloud of the year got swapped up at the last minute too, so we’re indulging in Ember Falls, the sequel to The Green Ember. We’re using the audio version of this as I’m reading a fair amount to various members of the household in a day. 

Who Is God is scheduled in place of a devotional with Jayden’s school this year. I’m not sure about it, in regards to being really at his level. We’ll continue on with it for a while & see how we feel about that down the road.

We’ve just picked up the Fallacy Detective where we left off before the end of last year. We still need to print out that pesky poster, but he seems to recognise each fallacy as he’s moving through the book..

We haven’t selected a poetry book yet this year, all though we do have one on the shelf I need to pull out. So for this week we simply read The Barefoot Boy which was the first poem of the year in Jayde’s Revival to Revolution Programme.

We also ended up reading Practical Happiness together one day a week even though it’s actually scheduled in Morgan’s World Geography Programme. Ha, that probably sounds pretty confusing, but it works for us & I’m able to keep it straight so it’s all good.

We also did the Classical Music For Kids together one morning, again this was scheduled in one child’s programme. Are you seeing a recurring theme here? Ha! I knew that the eldest would enjoy this too. We were only scheduled to listen to the first 3 tracks, so not very far into it, but still enjoyable.

Jayde jumped right in with his Rev to Rev this week, he was so excited to dig into the new programme. Lots of lovely new books & topics to be covered with R2R. We opted to go with The Signers portion, but not the state study.  We dug into the introduction of that book, which is a beautiful hardcopy with a small bio about each man who signed the Declaration of Independence. My great-grandmother use to tell us we had a direct descendant who was not only on the Mayflower, but who also signed the DOI. Not that she ever actually told us who they were.. I need to purchase a wall copy of the Declaration, we have it in book form which we read every July.

We also dug into George Washington’s World, this isnt’ one we ordered with our set as we’ve owned it & had on the shelf for some time. I’d had intentions to use it with this same child but at a different time but never got to it, I’m rather glad of that now.

We also started “story time” book, as it’s called at this HOD level,
Amos Fortune. There are some questions in the guide the reader is suppose to ponder {if reading alone} before meeting up with the parent. As we did this book together last week we each answered the questions based on what we gathered from the book. Most of the time we agreed, but there was one question about why Fortune was sad upon seeing his reflection in the mirror where we each differed.

He was delighted to start in on Hearts & Hands, all though we only read about  John Wesley & what led to the First Great Awakening. Lots of notebooking again this year, but nothing unachievable. The pattern/rotation has changed in R2R, but not in a bad way. His longer written narration is due on Mondays instead of Thursdays. He’s also suppose to copy bits of the poetry this year, all though I’m letting him type them up. He needs to practice his typing skills, & as we’re using the dictation this year I figured it was a reasonable trade-off.

Science was started too. I wasn’t sure we’d get to that as the objective was to cover half a week to get us rolling, but he was really excited to get involved in everything so I let him roll with it. He’s using the Inventors pack as it’s such a lovely compliment to the physical science this year.

I’m so-so with the Exploration Education’s Physical science, merely because I’d love a textbook to go along with it.. or just a book to read the info. I can see why it’s 100% computer based but with the Irlen in our house a book is always a nice thing to have. On the other hand the step by step pictorial directions for assembling/building his experiments is nice too. He built the racer last week, but he didn’t not complete the experiment portion of the lesson yet.

Morgan picked up with Week 7 in his HOD Geography.. yep, I told you we made some changes. He didn’t miss a beat & was a bit worried about it. With his severe Irlen he really needs the books in audio format & we can’t seem to round as many of the lovely HOD selections up in that fashion, so I spent the previous weekend recording all his readings for him, which allowed him to work as he would had we stuck with our origional choice for him.

He continued with
Word To Caesar, it had been a while since we’d read it {summer vacation & all that..} & it was nice to get back into the story, by pre-recording I’m getting to enjoy all the lovely books as well! He writes a one sentence summary after reading the Living Library selections.

Rather than copying the bookmark out of the back of our guide we created a file on the computer that he pulls up. While I love the idea of the bookmark directly in the book & the physical pen to paper we have to adapt some things & this is a simple solution. He types it up & sends me a copy of his sentence for corrections, I make notes of what needs fixing, if needed, & that’s that. He prints it all out once the book is finished & files it in his notebook.

I had assigned him to pick up with Fundamentals of Literature, but he was already ahead of schedule. I thought he had been, but as I wasn't positive I’d jotted it in his planner for him. In the end he had none to do that first week which was probably a bit nicer for getting back into the swing of our schedule.

Rather interestingly we had this family discussion over the weekend {no clue what started it} about The Dead Sea Scrolls & how not all sights claimed to be “real” in Israel are truely Biblically based. We also discussed many other angles of both topics, & then I mentioned that a friend was currently in Israel & if they reminded me I’d share some of her photos with them..

Well, this week in his Archeology book we read about these very topics! It was really rather funny after our discussion to see them pop up. In fact, he had a writing assignment on the Dead Sea Scrolls this week too. It wasn’t his best work, but it was well done considering our lengthy summer holidays.

Lastly he had a half dozen things or so to put in his Book Of Centuries. He has a few portraits each week & then also some things to jot on various lines in other areas. He had a variety of dates to deal with that were rather spread out based on the discover of those Dead Sea Scrolls.

We ended up saving all the video watching for Thursday, & the boys joined each other for that. Jayde's DVD had some info about events leading up to the French & Indian War on his video including some more info about The Great Awakening. It reminded me I had a couple of PBS Documentaries on the shelf I need to pull out for him.

Morgan is still working through the Reader’s Digest DVDs as they are scheduled through his HOD programme. We were a little confused on the DVD we watched this week as it felt out of place, perhaps because our minds were totally enraptured with the aligning of the Dead Sea Scroll reading & our family chat, or even the sights within Israel. But the DVD was more about how various religious groups celebrate the Easter holiday & so how many of them walk the path believed to have been the path Jesus would have walked on his way to Golgotha.

Thursday the kids also helped make dinner, okay actually pretty much everyone but me made dinner. Jayden made burgers & cooked them on his sandwich toaster, he was going to do them outside on the bbq, but we were in a fire ban & he was worried about that. {If you’re curious, a gas bbq is allowed, but you have to be sure it is 1 meter away from anything that could be considered flammable..} Morgan made fries in the air fryer & sliced up veggies, we usually don’t use bread on our burgers, but put them on salad on our plate.

Morgan didn’t work on science this week, as he eases back into things. Both boys did tackle math & worked on Bible studies, but I seem to have taken more pictures of books than children this week. I might need to work on that for next week!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Silly French Fries


These cute & cuddly little fries were a gift from my youngest last year. There are actually 5 in total, but two are currently hidden somewhere.. They seriously are adorable to look at, but we both said the same thing, "It's a shame they don't come out!"

Upon closer inspection I realised they were only held in by a few, very large, stitches in which they'd been tacked in to keep them "safe." I decided to clip them out one evening & hide all 5 chips around the house, leaving the empty "packet" on the hall table.

When the kids realised it was empty they asked what happened & Mr S declared that he'd eaten them. After the laughter stopped I suggested they look around & see if they could find them. It took them most of the day, but they did eventually round them all up, I'd put a few in rather obvious places including a child's bed.

Once they were all rounded up & the boys were distracted I managed to sneak off & hide them again. The funniest part of the second hide was that the ones hidden in some of the most obvious places took them the longest to find. I mean, who doesn't notice a giant smiling chip hanging on the front door, am I right?

Once they were located a second time the tables turned & I suddenly found these little cute potatoes in some pretty absurd places.. I went to brush my teeth one evening & found nestled in beside my toothbrush holder. Later, I found one in my pillow case. The following morning I discovered one in the door of the fridge, properly cuddled up to a box of almonds milk. Apparently Mr S had hidden that one in there.

Over the course of a week, the chips have been found & hidden over & over, which is why there are 2 currently missing! No one knows who hid them, or where on earth they are. In fact, it was only yesterday one of the 3 in the "packet" actually showed up. I was the guilty party of hiding that one & had totally forgotten I'd stuck it on the top case of a cook shelf between a book on Columbus & a Harry Potter book. I'd thought Mr S would spot it as he often sits near that particular book case, I guessed wrong.

Last night one was discovered hanging out of a child's shirt, it actually took those not in on the "hide" a good hour to discover it being there & even then they only realised something was askew when they caught said child & I having a whispered conversation followed by a giggle.

It probably sounds completely random & totally nerdy, but hey what can I say? Years ago when our almost 17 year old turned 7 we hid penguins around the house, little laminated paper ones, for his birthday party & the idea was to see who could find the most.. That game was such a hit with my kids that for weeks afterwards they'd play the random "hide the penguin" game. Then one day we moved on to a little Toad, you know the crazy mushroom guy from Mario.. I'm not entirely sure what started it, but that one's been going on for years.

Someone will find him hidden {or not quite so hidden} somewhere in the house & then claim victory before silently "losing" him again. He was once hidden so well it took us 3 months to discover him, & the only reason he showed up was because I moved furniture. He recently went through the washer & lost his lamination, & in all fairness I have exactly 0 idea where he is. I claimed victory shortly after the "washer" incident & hid him just behind a door frame that the kids walk in & out of a million times a day. Clearly someone found him, & has moved him.

If you ever open our fridge, deep freeze, or dryer there is really no telling what you'll discover. On the flip side I can cope with hidden cuddly french fries & laminated Mario characters, I don't cope so well with lizards & frogs, so you know.. no complaints from this Mamma. In the mean time, if you spot my missing fries while visiting, be sure to shout victory before returning it to the "packet" that's on the hall table.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

What's On The Book Shelf This Week: Wk 3


Pride & Prejudice:

Okay true confession I’m not a fan of Jane Austen. I know, I know, let the cuing of tomatoes be thrown, but it’s true. I’ve started many of her books over the years & put each one down in turn because, “Ugh.” I’ve read Shakespeare, Dickens, & Verns without issue, but Austen gets me every time.

However, my mother told me early in life to never say never, so here I am, reading P&P. I’m not going to say I’m loving it, but I also don’t hate it. I think it’s going to be very predictable, & no I haven’t watched the movie a million times. I’m not even sure I’ve ever watch the movie or the BBC shows or anything of the likes.

So why am I putting myself through it? Well, I’m putting together a list of Brit Lit I want my boy to read, & here’s the thing.. P&P comes up on a lot of lists, so I figured before I subject my child to it I’ll subject myself to it & decide if it will remain on our list or not. I started chapter 25 last night. Audio Link

Own Your Own Life:
I picked this one up last year I think it was & a helpful child put a bookmark in it & then “put it away” for me, but where was away? I had no idea!! Away, as it turned out, to be in my closet under summer clothes? Who does that, my child apparently. I stumbled upon it while looking for my summer workout gear, & pulled it back out.

So so much loveliness in this book, that while I could easily devour it in a short amount of time I’m trying to force myself to take it slowly.. Ironically, after making that choice someone moved my book again & I’m not entirely sure where it is again, so I’ve been pondering the thoughts in the last chapter I read.  Audio Link

Word To Caesar:
This is one of Morgan’s Living Library books that I’m currently recording in audio for him. This book started with a bang & has been nearly all forward motion ever since. The only downer, which is often typical of this time period {Ancient Rome} is that I find so many of the names could really use a good pronunciation guide.

In this story the hero, Paul, is attempting to repay his debt to Severus who saved his life. To repay Severus, Paul is attempting to get word to Caesar that the accusations that caused Severus to be banned from the Roman Empire are all false.

Amos Fortune Free Man:
This is not my first time through, but I’m enjoying it in audio fashion this time. This is Jayden’s current “Story Time” book with his HOD, & because there are some deep Literary questions that go along with the readings we’re listening together. Yes, I could totally have read this instead, but we’re reading a few others {not listed here} that go along with his curriculum. Audio Link

Fake Mustache:
We bought this one for Mr S for Christmas, yes really. We often buy him funny books like this as he doesn’t often have time for much reading, & the font needs to be large so that when he picks it up on the fly he can read it without his glasses on.

I suspect this story will have a few funny twists & turns in it, but for now the premise is that a boy has bought a new suit & a fake moustache which will allow him to be unidentifiable in his small, run of the mill nothing ever happens, kinda town. Audio Link

Ember Falls:

I actually had an entirely different book selected for our first read aloud of the year. I’d spotted it on a random google search & couldn’t wait to pick it up & read. It’s new enough that it’s still only available in hardback, & we did actually start it, but our current morning routine has a lot of reading happening so we switched to Ember Falls which we have in audio format so I can catch my breath.

This book picks up where
The Green Ember leaves off. We are only a couple of chapters in as this is our first week back to normal routines including a family read aloud, so I’ll have to give more detail on it later.
Audio Link {Audio Link for The Green Ember}

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