Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My wonderful family

Everyone who knows me knows how much I love my husband & my four wonderful boys. However, this year I have gotten very close to my sister-in-law & I'm so thankful for our new relationship! We've always been friendly & had no problem talking for an hour about nothing at all, but lately we've started walking or exercising together every morning. This has been such a blessing to me. First of all, I really need the exercise, but more than that I had no idea how much I needed the company.

I am a stay at home mom & love it, but I didn't realize how tired I was getting on never seeing other people. I have blogs that I follow & friends that I keep up with through emails, but I didn't see how much I really needed that face-to-face interaction. It's great! I absolutely love my mornings now. It's something I really look forward to each day. I don't know how much this is helping her, but I feel so much better now.

Anyway, I want to encourage you guys to get out there & actually SEE your friends once in a while. Trust me, it is well worth the effort.


I'm so glad Spring is finally here! This is by far my favorite time of the year. I love all of the green I see out my back door & waking up to the birds singing outside my window. Living in the country is awesome! I'm thrilled that my kids get to grow up in such a beautiful place. I'm really hoping to get a lot done outside this year. Luckily soccer is almost over & we only have four weeks left of baseball. After that it should be much easier.

We've started planting our garden. Which is over twice the size it was last year!!! I'm really excited about it, too. Hopefully everything will grow as well as last year. We're planting a few things that we've never tried before, so I'll have to keep you updated on our progress.

Now that the warm weather has arrived, my boys can't wait to be out of school. Luckily they only have five weeks left. I'm ready for them to be home every day & so is their little brother. He asks me every day if his "friends" can stay home today. I feel really bad telling him no, but I know it won't be much longer until summer.

I don't know if we'll take a summer vacation this year since our summer is already filling up, but I envision us spending a lot of time outside with friends/cousins. I think I'll go work on my patio & see if I can get it ready for grilling. It's never to early to plan a barbecue! See you later.

Monday, February 22, 2010

School troubles

I've been hesitant to write this post for some time now, but I think I have to get it out there.

My two oldest sons were in private school for Kindergarten. They both used the Abeka program & we loved it. They were reading by the fourth week of school! I was so impressed that I couldn't help telling everyone how great it was. When my second son graduated Kindergarten & was going into first grade I was no longer working & we couldn't afford private school any longer. So, we enrolled them in public school against my better judgment & that lasted all of three weeks. After that they were home schooled for three years. We all loved it! I really enjoyed the extra time I got to spend with them & I loved knowing that they were learning the things they needed to learn.

Two years ago they asked if they could attend public school again. I had always told them that if they chose to, I would let them give it a shot. My husband is a teacher & he was able to take them to the school he teaches at. The first year we had quite a wake-up call. My oldest was bored out of his mind. He kept coming home telling me that he hadn't learned anything new at all. Apparently, everything they were learning we had gone over the year before. Some, even the year before that. So, we worked with him to keep quiet in class (he likes to talk) & just do his work.

My second son was not adjusting well because he had a teacher who didn't think home schoolers actually did anything. Parent - Teacher conferences always involved her telling me how he must not be used to "structured environments". She was very surprised when he blew away all of the other students on the end of year tests. At the beginning of this year she ran up to us & told us how well he did. We told her once again that he hadn't learned anything new that year & we would have been surprised if he hadn't done well. She still didn't get it & proceeded to take credit for "turning him around".

My problem is not with their classes, although I'm not too thrilled with the level of education they are getting, but with my third son. He is in Kindergarten this year at the same school. I asked the teacher at the beginning of the year if they learned to read using phonics. Now we had been working on his letter sounds all summer & he was beginning to read already. She assured me that they always teach using phonics & wouldn't do it any other way.

Well, it's now the third quarter & he's barely reading because they are teaching sight words. I work with him all of the time on sounding out his words, but as soon as he gets to school he's taught to read by memorizing the words. This really bothers me. I've talked with his teacher, who assures me that they are learning phonics. She claims that the kids can't learn to read using phonics only because it's just too hard. I don't know when this type of teaching began, but when I was in school many, many years ago we learned to read using phonics. I'm pretty sure I handled it perfectly well & my two older sons learned to read this way, too. They both read very well & are easily able to sound out any words they don't know.

So, all of that said, I'm really just worried about my son. Is it too late to turn this around? Can he now learn to read correctly without trying to search his brain for the word he's memorized? Right now we are considering home schooling again, but I'm just wondering if anyone out there has any words of advice for me. If so, I would greatly appreciate it.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Electronics-free Day

Every now & then we like to have an Electronics-free day. This means no TV, computer, Wii, DS or any other type of electronic entertainment. This time we decided to break out the play dough. Here are a few of their creations.

My oldest son loves to create sculptures. I have no idea where he got that talent, it certainly wasn't from me.

Anyone who knows my second son knows how much he loves to eat. Therefore, it shouldn't be any surprise that he decided to make a selection of his favorite foods. Let's see, there are apples, bananas, cherries & even tomatoes.

Here we have a set of gears. It's not the best pic, but
they looked great!

Our youngest decided to mix a couple of colors together.
He didn't want to pose with it so I'm holding it for him.

Oh yeah, they also decided to work in a few minutes of exercise on the pull-up bar.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Wow, this is more snow than I've seen since I was a child! The boys have had so much fun building forts & snowmen as well as getting into quite a few snowball fights. I think the "adults" are enjoying it just as much, if not more than the kids. We've even taken the time to make snow cream a couple of times. Mine of course was made with almond milk & very tasty.