Saturday, August 30, 2008

misc from the week

This has been a typical busy week. We had a very productive week of school. That is very good considering they have all of next week off. Mark and I are going to a work conference Wednesday-Friday afternoon. It is held in Orlando, so we won't be too far away. This is our big annual staff conference. We love going and the school does a wonderful job of pampering us. I'm very excited about one of our speakers this year. Erin Gruwell will be speaking. She is a wonderful teacher and the movie "Freedom Writers" is based on her life. Hillary Swank plays the lead role. If you haven't seen the movie I highly reccomend it. I believe it is PG13, so parental discretion is advised. :) Here is a link to the foundation she started.

The conference is great and we always enjoy catching up with our fellow teachers. I truly love my job and feel very valued. We both are very happy to be working for a great organization that is doing awesome things in education, ..... but.......we will miss the kids. This is our first time away from Katie. I know she will be fine. She is in good hands, but part of me feels guilty. I know I should be (and I am ) grateful that we have the opportunity for both of us to be home with our children for all but a couple days out of the year. I just know I will miss them. Pray for them and me and my Mom and Kelly (they will be watching them).

Back to my blog post....
School was great this week. Emily is really handling her work load nicely. We added in Latin this week. It is a good program and we are both enjoying learning another language. I think I will start looking for a Spanish program for all of us to work on starting in January.

Sarah enjoys her grammar program. She likes to look up words in the dictionary. I'm glad she has fun doing that!

Mark bought tickets for me to take the girls to see High School Musical at Broadway Palm. We were able to invite Brooke to join us. I think this was my favorite production that I have seen there.
This extremly blurry picture is from Upward today. This was their last game and we were glad to have Kelly and Carter join us. The girls did a great job and enjoyed this activity very much.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Lion Country Safari

This Sunday and Monday we went on a short getaway to Lion Country Safari. It was a nice getaway and we had good time hanging out together. We picked a good time to go. On MOnday we were the first people in line and the park was practically empty. The kids got to go on anything they wanted to.

The highlight of the park is the drive through safari. We went through it 2 times so that we could see all of the animals closely. The monkeys were especially entertaining. They swung on their ropes and monkey bars alot. Ty enjoyed the 'Pippos' which were actually Rhinos.
We rented the a cabin at the KOA right next door to the park. You can actually hear the lions roaring. The man told me that we are sleeping 200 feet away from them.
It was a very hot day, but we still had to grill out hot dogs.

They also have a separate part of the park that has rides and boats and a waterpark. I couldn't believe it when Mark let the girls go on their own! They did a great job handling the paddle boat. I envisioned them stuck out in the middle of the alligator infested lake, but they did just fine.Ty liked going on the boat with Daddy.
Katie and I chilled out in the shade. She practiced more of her walking at the park. She is getting pretty good.

Emily on the Rhino, Sarah on the Monkey
Sarah loves miniature golf and this was included in the price. NICE!

I loved the Giraffe feeding area. The tongues are quite gross! You can see Ty wouldn't look at Mark for the picture. He was too leary of the big giraffes behind us. Sarah opted out of the giraffe feeding, which I can totally understand.

See the tongue! It was slobbery too. I like the difference between Emily and Sarah's expressions.
Ty and I fed him together.
To my dismay, Mark helped Katie feed him. She tried to hold on to the cracker for herself. I think she might have been hungry.
This is how Mark fed the giraffe. WIMP!

Our 4 kiddos.

Ty loves maps! He walked around the park with this one and whenever he saw something that he remembered being on the map we had to stop. He would find it on the map and say, "here it is" and then proceed to go to the next spot. He does a very good job with maps. He has alot of Mark's attributes.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Family Trees

We started our History Lessons this week and our first day we examined what history is and how it is passed down. This naturally leads to a discussion of family heritage. For our activity I planned to create a simple one page family tree of just the 6 of us. I was keeping it simple for the sake of time.

Once we started working on the project, Emily and Sarah insisted on doing a full family tree with all of their aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. They worked hard and I think they look great. Emily had a great idea. She wants to hang them in their bedrooms so they will remember to pray for them every day.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

School is in!

I can't believe this is my first homeschool post of the new school year!
We officially started school on August 4th. The girls were eager and excited to get back into the learning mode. That makes me very happy.

I spent a lot of time in the spring picking out curriculum and planning for this year. I feel like the girls will be challeneged in good ways this year. Now that we are in our 3rd week it is nice to say that all of the choices are working out pretty well.

Here is a few highlights--(For those interested)

We are using two curriculums for each of the girls. I love the Singapore math. It really focuses on the arithmetic and problem solving side of math. There is a lot of drill in each section which I like, but once you get to the next section you don't get too much review. So rather than hope they remember it we supplemented with other programs. Sarah is also using Horizons math. Emily is using BJU math.

We are using Writing Tales (1 for Sarah and 2 for Emily). This is a series written by a Homeschooling mother. I love her approach to teaching. It is a great way to blend writing, grammar and some spelling together. The girls really like it so far.

We selected Apologia Zoology 2 Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day
Just started this week and so far, so good. We are taking a notebooking approach and the girls like that very much.

Story of the World 1
We will begin this tomorrow and I am very excited. I like the approach the book takes and enjoy finding resources from the library.

There are many other things we are doing, but I am most excited about the ones above.

We enjoy homeschooling the girls. Today was a very rigorous day and we accomplished a ton. I like those kind of days. Pray for us as we work to educate 2, while entertaining 2 more. :)

Emily- 4th grade
Sarah- 2nd grade

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, August 18, 2008


Well Hurricane Fay never made it to a hurricane, but we were prepared for it anyway. Mark had been wanting to cut out plywood and use these new clamps he had bought for hurricane shutters and this storm allowed us time to do that.

Here you can see the girls having fun on our 'storm shutters.' Emily isn't really afraid, just being a ham. Katie finds this all to be new and exciting. She offered to help Daddy with the boards.
Mark was very happy with the new brackets he bought for the windows. He assures me that next hurricane the boards will go up very quickly. Something to look forward too.
Here is our little Hurricane documentation. Hopefully we won't need to fill in anymore pieces! Hope all of you Floridians had a safe day!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ty dresses himself.

Ty is into the phase where he likes to try to dress himself and pick out his clothes.

Below you can see that he is sleeping in his Firetruck Man outfit. Please not this is not a fireman outfit. He is sure of that! Really it is a very, very warm raincoat that he has decided resembles a fireman's outfit. He insisted on wearing it to bed one night. I took it off before I went to bed and he was soaked in sweat.

(I really need to get him a different pillow case.)

He loves this headband and likes to wear my backpack. Ty is such a fun guy!

Saturday, August 16, 2008


The Olympics are keeping me from updating my blog. Did you see the Phelps race last night? Amazing! We loved here.

Last Saturday we went to SunSplash. It was Family Fun Night, so everyone got in for $5 each. Good deal compared to their usual prices.

Emily loves all the big slides. In the picture below I was riding with her and we flipped out of our tube at the end. Do you see my arm holding up the tube?

She loved it!
Ty loved the kiddie area. There was hardly anyone there in the beginning, so we had the place to ourselves. Sarah is in between right now. A bit too big for this area, but not quite ready for the big slides. She did try the pink slides toward the end and loved them.

Mark enjoyed going down the slides with the girls. This looks almost painful to me.
Surrounded by 1000's of splashing, laughing people, Katie fell asleep. :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Family Photos

I am a fan of the non-traditional family photos. One of my favorite photographers used to do a shot of the family in the front yard on a couch. I always wanted one like that. Now I know the quality is nothing compared to my favorite photographer, but I still like the pictures.

When I told Mark the picture I wanted he thought it was a good idea, but didn't want to drag our couch into the front yard. Lucky for me he likes perusing Craigslist. The other day there was a listing for a free couch in Villas. He picked it up for the picture, we took the picture, put the couch by the road and someone else snagged it. Thanks, Mark!

Olympics Time!

As you know I love the Olympics! Friday we got into the Spirit of things by having Chinese for dinner. We love Chinese, so this was perfect for us.

The kids all made their own torches to carry for our family Olympics. If you look closely you can see that Team Ty was so confident that he ate a granola bar during the opening ceremonies.

Team Emily-Gold Medal in Running
Team Sarah-Gold Medal in Hula Hoop
Team Ty-Goal Medal in Block Building
Team Katie- Gold Medal in Block Dismantling

We made up our own backyard (or in this case frontyard) games to play for the family Olympics.
---on a side note, doesn't our grass look great! We have had such a wet summer that it has done wonders for our lawn.
This was the hula hoop toss. I was a disappointing fourth place. We are laughing at something Mark said.