Showing posts with label Instagram. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Instagram. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summer So Far

It's hard to believe, but here we are, halfway through July already! The school supplies are back on the shelves and the countdown to September has begun. Before any more time flies by, here's a bit of what we've been up to this summer, so far… {as seen on Instagram}

My bid to inspire some creativity in the kids has been pretty successful. Having the art supplies out on display means they are much more likely to get used, which I love.
We've done castles, sunbursts, fruit, fish, and family crests. Now I just need to find a place to display all the works of art the kids are cranking out!
 June means strawberries and I put them to good use. Freezer jam, pies, cakes, and of course strawberries and cream… the tastes of summer.

We even found one that looks like a heart~ double the sweetness.
 The local gardens are in full bloom and people and ducks, alike are enjoying them.

Unfortunately, my own little garden is not as impressive as the one above. My hydrangea had only one bloom this year, but it was a lovely one.

 What's a post about summer without a little baseball? Hunter's new favorite position to play is catcher. It seems that between hockey and baseball, we are destined to be carrying a ton of protective gear year round. Such is the life of a sports mom!
I'm going to enjoy the remaining days of summer, savoring each afternoon and relishing each lingering evening. See you at the beach!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Full Swing Into Summer

Happy first day of summer! We jumped into summer at full speed as soon as Caitlin finished school. Since then, it's been a whirlwind of baseball practice, soccer tournaments, and hockey camps. Throw in some mega cleaning and organizing projects and the days have been flying by. At this pace, I'm better at sharing on Instagram than here, so be sure to check there for more frequent updates. 

 Caitlin and Hunter actually collaborated to sort and organize all their Legos. I'll take any cooperation I can get from these two, even if it is short-lived.

 In the hopes of inspiring a bit of creativity this summer, I put all our art supplies out where they would be easily accessible, not to mention look pretty on display.
 It worked too! We collaborated on some summer chalk art and made watercolor rainbow fish.

Hunter has been baseball crazy.

 And Caitlin has been consumed by soccer. She has to get in the zone on the way to games with her tunes.

She had a big tournament over Father's Day weekend, so we treated Chris to breakfast between games.

The kids got Chris got a smoothie maker and we've been putting it to good use already.

 I put some of my pretty blue transfer ware on display. I love the pop of pink from the peonies. My favorite summer flower!

And I finally tackled my disastrous upstairs linen closet. Now if I could just get motivated to paint the door and trim. Being on the second floor, it's easy to procrastinate and let the "out of sight, out of mind" things go. Someday!

Even with all the busy-ness, we've managed to squeeze in some relaxing cuddle time. Sam is a spaz most of the time, but he does love to snuggle.
Happy Summer!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Wrapping Up 4th Grade, Classical Homeschool Style

I can hardly believe that it is May already! With our required testing behind us, we are just about finished with our second year of homeschool (Hunter's 4th grade year). There have been so many fun, frustrating, fulfilling, and amazing things this year, I hardly know where to start. But here's a recap of some of our changes, highlights, and challenges.

The biggest change from our rookie year was that we connected with a local homeschool group.  We were able to add in more outings and social activities, which has been a great addition for both of us. We also joined a small co-op that meets bi-weekly for art, music, gym, and social studies. There are several boys Hunter's age in the group so naturally he loves going. 

Getting out of the house is always a welcome change for homeschoolers. It helps breaks up the monotony, keeps momma sane, and helps my antsy kiddo burn some of his extra energy. We made sure to take some fun field trips, visit local parks, and attend a weekly open gym.

Although we love getting out of the house, we are both more comfortable with the ins-and-outs of daily homeschool life too. History remains one of Hunter's favorite subjects. The Story of the World, Volume II is chock-full of ideas to make history come alive.
Like Maori warrior face painting,

and building a model Viking longboat.

But one of the best SOTW resources I found this year was this blog, Red Oak Road. There are chapter-by-chapter outlines for each of the three volumes, complete with a plethora of related video and website links. One of Hunter's favorite things to do after we had finished reading a chapter was to snuggle up with a good documentary (nerd alert!).

Hunter started guitar lessons this year, but we only continued through December. Since then, he has practiced daily with YouTube tutorials and has learned more on his own than he did in 4 months of crowded group lessons. We like this website and this one for clear, easy to follow beginner guitar instructions.
The biggest struggle we had this year was in writing. We are using Writing With Ease: Level 4 and while I can see definite improvement in Hunter's writing, it is a daily fight to get through it… especially the dictation. We both experienced a lot of frustration while slogging through these exercises. 
Sometime in the dark days of January, we took a break from WWE and did some creative writing, a mini-unit on poetry, and a mini-unit on paragraph organization and outlining. During March, Hunter researched, outlined, drafted, and revised a 4-page report on Christopher Columbus. He was very proud of the result, as was I. We still have about a quarter of WWE left, so I think we will work on it for the remainder of the year. I am still up in the air about what to do for next year's writing, but I am considering several options, including finishing WWE 4 and writing more across the curriculum, moving on to Writing With Style, or switching to another program completely (like Institute for Excellence in Writing).
For now, we are enjoying a slower pace for the rest of May. Hunter has worked so hard and I can barely take in how far he has come academically. When he left public school he hated math, his handwriting and spelling were terrible, and his attitude about learning and performance in school were less than stellar.
Today, he loves school. He can write in lovely, clear cursive. We have read wonderful books, learned about thousands of years of history, and memorized dozens of poems. He has mastered the multiplication tables, grappled with fractions, and learned the basics of Latin.

Best of all, his enthusiasm for learning has continued to blossom. He is excited about new ideas and looks forward to exploring new things. The end of this year has come very quickly, but I hope it is only the beginning of our next homeschool chapter.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Spring Break Doings

I've been pretty spotty with blogging the little things lately, but I do try to share everyday doings on Instagram. I'd love it if you followed along… you can find me here. We just finished up a week long vacation from school… and I wish I could say we spent this spring break lounging on a beach somewhere, but unfortunately we stayed pretty close to home. That doesn't mean we didn't have a few adventures and lots of fun though! 

 We took advantage of our lazy days with lots of late night movies, followed by sleeping late the next day. And WAFFLES!

It finally warmed up into the 20s, so we wasted no time and headed out to the local sledding hill. It was great to finally enjoy all the snow we've gotten this year.

We did have one school-related adventure and went to the Minneapolis Institute of Art for a field trip on medieval art. However, the kids were much more entertained by the nudes. The museum was pretty quiet, so they had free reign to giggle and goof around.

After the museum we went to a local British pub for fish and chips. My two little anglophiles absolutely loved it.

 I had the fish and chips, while Caitlin had bangers and mash. Hunter, however, had grilled cheese. Even British food is too exotic for his taste it seems.

We are finally getting new neighbors in the house across the road, so I put together a little welcome gift for them. It was so sunny and cute, I had a hard time parting with it!

What's spring break without some spring cleaning? I've never shared my upstairs bathroom here, but since I spent half the day Saturday scrubbing every inch of it, I thought I better snap a picture and share. 

Have you had spring break yet? Do you travel or stay home like we did?

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Recap

I hope you all had a warm and wonderful Christmas. I know we did: it was filled with lots of fun, good food, and much-loved traditions. And lots and lots of pictures… here are a few of my favorites.
 I've always made the kids pose for a photo in their Christmas Eve finery before we go to church, and this year was no different. Except that their finery has gotten decidedly less fancy. Gone are Hunter's once-beloved bow-ties and Caitlin's twirly dresses and patent shoes. They go for more of a casual look these days.
I'm not sure when this girl turned into such a young lady, but having grown three inches in the last six months, she is quickly approaching me in height. I am so not ready for this!
I, on the other hand, took the opportunity to dress to the nines {by my standards, anyway} and broke out my favorite red Christmas dress {from Lands End}. I did change as soon as we got home from church, but it was fun to dress up for a little while.

We have a Christmas Eve tradition of letting the kids open one present after church. It always contains a pair of matching pjs, a Christmas book {The Gift of the Magi}, and a Christmas movie {Charlie Brown's Christmas}. 

 After they change into their new jammies {love these cozy ones from Lands End}, we have a feast of appetizers and settle in to watch their new movie.

I found a ton of great holiday recipes on Pinterest this year and I'll share all the links and recipe info in another post. 

On Christmas morning, I get up extra early to set everything up. I make coffee and hot cocoa, light candles and the tree, and turn on Christmas music. We set out a breakfast of cinnamon rolls, cookies, fruit, and candy. By having everything ready, we can sit back and enjoy the magic of Christmas morning. 

And faces like these:

You might have noticed in the photo above, but I got a new rug for Christmas. I was a bit nervous about the pattern, but when I asked on Facebook and Instagram, the response was overwhelmingly in favor of this rug.  What do you think, did we make the right choice?

After all the presents were opened, my dad and stepmom joined us for dinner. Once again, the party crackers and paper crowns were a big hit. 
We're gorging on leftovers and enjoying our gifts this weekend, before getting ready for our Christmas/New Year's celebration at my mom's next week. 
Hope you're enjoying the quiet stretch between celebrations!
I'm linking up here:
Life Rearranged
The Pleated Poppy
Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers