Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sweetie Pie

Jane made my bed for me today and I didn't think anything of it, but then tonight when I was getting into bed I found this letter on my pillow. It warmed my little heart right up. For one, I'm so glad she's using the writing center, two, this means she is truly working on her Faith in God program, three, her writing is neater than it used to be, four, she's begun writing in cursive totally on her own, five, showing appreciation at a young age, six, today was a LONG day but now it was all worth it.

Oh Yeah

We read The Tale of Despereaux the first week of school. Amber told me it was good and she never lets me down on the book recommendations. Even Scarlet listened to quite a bit of it. I love this book because it's charming, and witty, and sad, and profound and suspenseful, all rolled into one. Jane is reading it on her own now. As soon as we finish reading a book together she can't wait to get her mits on it so she can re-read it on her own. She worked really hard sewing this little mousie to go along with the book. She adjusted the pattern so it would have nice big ears just like Despereaux. She even tied a red thread around his neck and gave him a needle sword, like the story says.

I saved this lesson from a blog but I can't remember which. I used it for a devotional on resisting sin. We started by reading 2 Nephi 28:20-21. It talks in the lesson about how the adversary uses snares and lures to entice us to sin. Elder M. Russell Ballard relates the lures a fly fisherman uses to the cunning plan of Lucifer here: (or this is the mormon message video)

The goal of the fly fisherman is to catch trout through skillful deception. The adept fisherman studies trout behavior, weather, the water current, and the types of insects trout eat and when those insects hatch. He will often craft by hand the lures he uses. He knows these artificial insects embedded with tiny hooks need to be a perfect deception because the trout will identify even the slightest flaw and reject the fly.
What a thrill it is to watch a trout break the surface of the water, inhale the fly, and resist until it is finally exhausted and reeled in. The test is the pitting of the fisherman’s knowledge and skill against the noble trout.
The use of artificial lures to fool and catch a fish is an example of the way Lucifer often tempts, deceives, and tries to ensnare us.
Like the fly fisherman who knows that trout are driven by hunger, Lucifer knows our “hunger,” or weaknesses, and tempts us with counterfeit lures which, if taken, can cause us to be yanked from the stream of life into his unmerciful influence. And unlike a fly fisherman who catches and releases the fish unharmed back into the water, Lucifer will not voluntarily let go. His goal is to make his victims as miserable as he is.

We made some “lures” with feathers, beads and ribbon tied together – and the kids wore them all day to remind them to always Choose the Right!

Timmy Quotes

Timmy while watching politics tonight, "This is kind of weird. It's kind of awesome."

Timmy talking about going to morning ball at 6am everyday, "I don't even know until I sit up if I'm going to go or not. I sit on the side of the bed and wait, then either go, or lay back down."


Pirate Day

- I put pirate hats and eye patches, mustaches and tattoos in the workboxes.
- They made up pirate names for each other (Ezra was Barnacle Breath, Charlie was Captain Black Beard, Scarlet was Pirate Pink, and Jane was Pirate Parrot).
- We learned this scripture for devotional:
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:21
- They each created a pirate flag.
- We learned pirate talk. Words like, Ahoy, aye, ARRRRRR, matey, shiver me timbers, land lubber, doubloon, jolly roger, scallywag… 
- We read a few pirate library books. 
- We labeled the parts of a ship.
- We learned some pirate history.
- We talked about how pirates dressed. 
- We identified the seven seas on a world map. 
- We looked up a bunch of different kinds of parrots- Scarlet Macaw, Ground Parrot, Senegal Parrot, Rainbow Lorikeet, Eclectus Parrot, Blue Footed Parrot, Yellow-collared Lovebird, Hyacinth Macaw, and Congo African Gray Parrot. 
- We wrote short pirate stories.
- We talked about what a stereotype is.
- We listened to some pirate shanties.
- We started memorizing the poem, Needles and Pins by Shel Silverstein
- We made treasure maps.
- We put together a lap book of everything we learned on Pirate Day.

I can email my Pirate Day file if anyone wants it ;)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Scarlet Killed the Ostrich


Timmy came home with these beauties for me. He sends me flowers often, but it still really surprises me every time. These ones were especially beautiful. He brought Jane and Scarlet their own bouquets too. It was really cute to see them feel so special, and not to forget the boys, they got DQ sandwiches ;) 


I've been lucky enough to have had a few face painting lessons from my friend Shay- the face painting queen of the world. She is an awesome teacher! She dropped stuff off at my house so I could practice on my kids and a few neighbourhood kids. Then, she asked me to help her at a carnival
 so I could practice for real. The carnival was like slave labor for like 2 hours 
straight which was great hands on learning. I promise I've improved since this ladybug...
Every Monday the kids choose a fancy new vocabulary word from a list of words I've been collecting. They write it on our Word of the Week display. 
So far, Polymath, Prodigality, Odium.
They use them during the week, but so out of context! It can be pretty funny.
So we are copying school and got a parachute. It's an important part of childhood- I lived for parachute day at school so I didn't want my kids to miss out on that ;)

Track day.

Scarlet was been amazing this year. I made more of an effort to have things planned for her too so that she is occupied while we are working. She has something new in her workbox each morning- things like paints and poster board, sequins and glue and paper, stickers and paper, blocks of ice with toys inside, fairy wings etc. I think it's made her feel more included. Now she thinks she's in school too, so she's trying to be cooperative, which is not her specialty...

Friday, September 21, 2012


 I love this picture, because it goes with with our school theme this year:

Walk as children of light.
~Ephesians 5:8

We've been really getting into the Geocaching. It's crazy how all this time there's been treasure containers hidden right under our noses and we never knew it! This is the GPS we bought and it's perfect. It's on the inexpensive end, it has a big screen, it's kid friendly, and it's specifically for geocaching. 
We spent a whole day in Waterton geocaching. It was a beautiful day, one of those days when you think what a shame it would have been to be sitting inside all day.
 Geocaching has been a great way to enjoy this weather while it lasts. I also love geocaching because it's great exercise for the kids, and we find some really cool spots that we never knew about before. It's literally like going on treasure hunts all day. They've also learned all about reading maps, entering coordinates, cardinal directions, and distances like feet, meters, kilometers, and miles. 

This was the prize for finding 5 caches in Waterton. Pretty fancy coin!

This container was really camouflaged good, but Jacob spotted it.

A magnetic piece of street lamp hid this cache. Sneaky.

This is Charlie's second geocache coin so far.

This cache was inside the gate in a magnet box. We couldn't believe we found it.

I loved this hiding spot. Right behind the sign at a busy intersection, in a tiny magnetic tube.

This container was camouflaged with a nest stuck to the top of it.

Charlie and I did this quick hike in the coulees by the U of L while Jane was at her lesson. It was a beautiful spot that we never would have gone to otherwise. Now that we've done so many caches, we are excited to make our own and see how many people come and find it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012




They all laugh so hard with this guy.

I wish I could lend Jenny my chest when we are done with it... it's a great baby item.

Here's the Ezra update. He started crawling so fast. He was just barely 7 months- way earlier than our other babies. He does everything early relative to our babies. At seven months he was pulling himself up to the chest and chairs, drinking out of cups (messily of course), clapping his hands, and sleeping all night. At eight months he started singing in church when he heard others singing, and he makes the bye bye hand motion now too. My most favorite Ezra thing is his growl. Charlie taught him to growl and now he just wanders around the house growling to himself. So I guess I'll officially say that a growl was is first word :) 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Here We Go

I spent most every free moment this summer planning for the new school year. I can't believe how time consuming it is to get ready. There was boxing up last years school work, cleaning and organizing the school room, laminating, sharpening, scheduling, optometrist and dentist appointments, school blessings, lots of shopping and ordering, and trips to the mail box that look like this:

One thing I planned was to have a writing center so the kids can write more letters like this one that Charlie wrote to Pres. Obama.  He wrote about taxes, Jane wrote about gas prices and Jacob wrote about healthier food for kids.

I stuffed the writing desk full of stationary, cards, stamps, fancy pens/pencils, wax seals etc. I also put together a binder with addresses of our family/friends so they have that handy too.

Some other centers we had this week:


 (Jane has been sewing a cute little mouse to go along with the book we started,
The Tale of Despereaux.)

Table work

Can you spot Ezra? He and I both like "Nap" center best ;)

Education would be so much more effective if its purpose were to ensure that by the time they leave school every boy and girl should know how much they don’t know, 
and be imbued with a lifelong desire to know it.”

– Sir William Haley