Potty Training Mommy

We started potty training Ivy today. A two-fold reason, the first being that she is 21 months and showing all the cues (telling us when she pees and poos her diapers, showing an interest in sitting on a potty when her big sis does, etc.) and the second being that our hard water is rendering our waterproof diaper covers useless. I found a wonderful soap to use on cloth diapers formulated specifically for our hard water except that it’s expensive, well the shipping and handling anyway, and it makes Ivy break out. So my choices, diapers that work and make her break out versus diapers that don’t work and leak through all her clothes but leave her bottom rash-free. I took the third road of chucking the diapers and potty training early. By early I mean earlier then I was planning which was when the weather warmed up and she can casually run around in her undies without me doing 50 million loads of laundry from beginning pee accidents in pants.

I’ve discovered that I am not good at the potty training thing. All of my children are late, late potty trainers with very stubborn wills and all have had a history of regression that takes at least a year or more to pull out of. So, this being my fifth round, I’ve decided to take a different tactic.

  • Pray, pray, and pray some more! Not for common sense or the how-to’s (I’ve read a million books on those), but on keeping my patience, using a gentle tone, not getting frustrated too early, not giving up too soon, and staying consistent.
  • Use this as a positive reinforcement for Delilah (3 – still potty training) and Luc (5 – finally just finished potty training!!!) by including them in the process and making it about all three of them.
  • Mommy training. I don’t expect Ivy to get it in the two weeks we will be concentrating on it, I more expect me to habit-train myself on taking her and being consistent with the work so that when the two weeks are up and my normal schedule resumes we don’t fall off the bandwagon.
  • Set reasonable expectations. For Ivy, stick to practicing sitting on the potty and making it positive and the transition to big girl panties. For Delilah, getting consistent potty use and practicing getting pants back on in a timely manner. For Luc, continuing with encouragement for jobs well done.
  • Maintain the schedule.

It is this first and last point that has made the biggest difference today. Giving it over to God constantly has made me keep an even keel (#321). And the gentle nudgings of the Holy Spirit have helped me encourage in places I wouldn’t otherwise, especially with the older two. It is easy for me to ignore little things with them because they should already know better (i.e. wiping themselves, washing hands, flushing, etc.) but I have treated them both as if they are training for the first time in order to keep it positive for Ivy and the praise is totally lifting them up, making them feel included, and keeping them on track (#322). Praying has also helped keep me from distraction (#323). As I am tempted to just do a quick kitchen cleanup the Holy Spirit reminds me that we have a schedule of chores and let’s just let that be enough. When I am tempted to hop on the computer because the baby needs to nurse the Holy Spirit whispers in my ear that I will just let time slip away and then that one-on-one interaction with Ivy will be broken.

Before in training I had taken book reccomendations on completely clearing my schedule and devoting all my attention to the trainee. That sounds great in theory (and may be with a first child) but is not practical with trainee number five! When I’ve tried this in the past then chaos ensued. The littles would make messes everywhere because they had unlimited freedom with no boundaries. And the older children would make messes everywhere with their well-meaning crafting and negligence of chores. I would end up frustrated and potty training would be derailed as I tried to pull some semblence of order back into our lives. 

I’ve also tried the maintain-current-schedule theory with little success as well. I would spend the whole day answering school questions or keeping toddlers out of trouble or getting laundry, dishes, meals done and the poor trainee would have an inconsistent trainer.

So, what to do?

In my brilliance (okay, not mine but the Lords!), I came up with two solutions. The first I’ve already touched on ~ keeping the other two toddlers/preschoolers involved in the training process right by my side. This has left my house reasonable clean all day (#324)! No messy playroom to pick up (#325). No toys strewed everywhere (#326). No food snuck and left sticky on tables and walls (#327). It has been wonderful and an eye opener on how our school days should go.

The second solution is guided project learning for the older ones. I needed a way to still school them without them needing me to be there. We’ve done project weeks before and the biggest challenge for me is the huge mess it creates as they “work”. The biggest challenge for them has been staying on track or not abandoning it as they are distracted by other play. I knew I could easily assign basic school work that they could independently work on but I also know their personalities and that would’ve turned into drudgery for them really fast which, in turn, would’ve led to daydreaming and getting distracted which would’ve led to me constantly nagging reminding them to get back to work and me not being focused on my trainee. I needed to keep them engaged for their 2-hour morning school block while allowing them to work independently. So I thought and planned ahead. I allowed them to check out library books that they wanted. Then I took those same books and turned them into a schoolish project that they could work on but would appeal to their individual interests and keep them going all week. It worked wonderfully (#328)! (I will post on that tomorrow!)

Both solutions allowed us to maintain our schedule better then we’ve been doing for weeks (#329). (Again, giving me great food for thought about how we “do” school.) And the best part, laundry got done (#330), dishes got done (#331), chores stayed on track (#332), I did very little yelling (#333), and my littlest ones had lots and lots and lots of mommy time (#334). And now as Ivy naps I have this incredible free time – an hour or so – before dinner needs to be made where my house is cleaned, chores are caught up, and the kids are happily playing in the playroom after all working together as a team to make sock puppets (#335-337). We have sticker charts that are being happily filled in (#338 – thank you pullups.com for your customization for each child!) and I have a moment to breathe (#339). It has been a very, very good day again reminding me that when I sacrifice my own needs to meet the needs of others, my needs end up getting met exactly how I need! And all the glory goes to Him who sustained me!

Edited Addition ~ Ivy went in the potty!!!!! At exactly 8:04 her 4 older siblings started dancing joyfully around the room and she looked perplexed at the pee, perplexed at their dancing and then got it and danced joyfully herself around the room. A thrilling moment in our mundane household! (#340)


Spelling Bees, Junie B.’s, and the ride home…

Today was the official day of the Omaha HEN Spelling Bee. Gabe’s last year participating in the junior division. And he was thrilled to walk home with a gold medal! Lily almost placed second and might have placed higher had they actually used the spelling list she worked so hard on. Instead, they used the secondary overflow list first. But not once did she blame me for spending all that time studying the wrong list or blame them for using the wrong list. No, she quietly, with natural grace, accepted her ribbon with a smile on her face.

I would love to show you a picture but you’ve already heard that sob story we shall have to be content to wait for regular photo processing. Next week maybe?

Since the spelling bee was held at the library, my kids finally had a chance to check out some books. (And I had a chance to pay off some fines….yeah! Can you hear the sarcasm?) After being cooped up with only the hubby getting out to do necessity shopping, we’ve not had the chance to grace the library steps in a while. Lily was thrilled to pick out a bunch of Fancy Nancy books and Gabe got some much-favorite math books and a few new science books with some new titles on carving wood.

But our best find was Junie B. Jones on audio and a few books to supplement. Lily is just now turning the corner on wanting to tackle some chapter books. Most are still intimidating to her. So when she picked up the Junie B. CD and begged me to get it, I found a librarian and we learned where the books were kept. Junie B. is in first grade – same as Lily – and I thought these would be perfect starter books. Although, I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical on whether I was making the right decision as the first book was titled a flagrant Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus. Should I be condoning this language and attitude I said to myself while checking it out? We popped in a CD on our very long ride home (due to having to drive to another city to drop off our very badly broken Kirby vacuum). The girl narrating the story did a FANTASTIC job. Before long we were all enthralled at the innocent happenings of this Junie B. girl. Even Gabe, at the time completely engrossed in his own reading and willing himself to ignore anything that made Lily happy book-wise, soon found himself putting his book down. Then came the laughter and the the snickers and the looks at me to see if I found it as funny (which I did) and then the, “Aaawwwhhhhh, mom, do we have to turn it off?” when we got home. I even found him carrying around the book and reading it before supper. Hmmm.

The six-year old Junie B. has captured our hearts and I just know we will be seeing much more of her around here in the days to come!

Linked with Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers at:

Wooing as Worship

I am reading this passage today…

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.   ~Romans 12:1

Just yesterday I was encouraging a young, married wife that the biggest blessing my marriage had recieved was when I stopped worrying about fixing him and started serving him and his needs. Suddenly I found my own needs being met. My marriage was blessed. Harmony reigned in our house. She said she heard and appreciated but found it hard to put into practice.

I was still reflecting on this when I read Ann’s repost on the Marriage Bed this morning.

And why would a woman rather scrub the grime of the tile grout in the bathroom for her husband, make him plates of heaping mashed potatoes, light the candles, scour the pots, wash his underwear, rather than say yes to his wooing?  ~ Ann Voskamp

And then I reread that passage from Romans and saw it in a whole new light. How often I serve in wonderful ways that are pleasing to my husband ~ making the bed for him even though I hate to, making sure he has dinner when he comes home even though it would be easier to make mac n chz for the kids, allowing him to go to the store for me even though I’d rather do it myself ~ little ways that say, “I love you” with acts of worship. This is always how I saw serving. This is how I interpretted Romans 12:1.

But what about the wooing? Do I serve his needs here as well as the others? Why not the other ways I know will make him happy? Curling my hair for him. Dying my grays a color shade he’d prefer. Wearing a shirt he specifically likes. Allowing him to caress and woo me with compliments and his hands and believing it. Why do I find it so hard to believe that a literal interpretation, serving with my body, can’t be an act of worship? Is our culture really that distorted? Is that distortion largely to blame on Christian women in their false piety? Or feminist women in their false sense of liberation and non-objectifying?

Ann is right. His word does tell us to rejoice in this union, that He blesses those ways of men that we try to shove in the chauvenistic box.

I choose You today, Lord. I choose to say yes to the wooing of my husband and no to the false lies I’ve been harboring. I choose to live this February really loving, loving as an act of worship and contemplating on what that means. I choose to say yes to Your wooing, Lord, as I seek to set that time aside for You and say no to the desires of my own flesh that won’t satisfy.

 And I urge you, dear readers, to visit Ann today. To seek encouragement and drink from the words of honesty and vulnerability as she allows the Holy Spirit to direct her typing. Wise girl, that Ann!


Renewing our Mind with Prayer

When I am sour in mood, exhausted from a sleepless night, short with the kids over dawddling chores, bored and not wanting to do my work, quick to anger and share a sharp word as I clean up messes too repungnent for words…

How often do I stop to pray? How often do I allow pray to renew my mind? Not often enough.

Praying again for grace and strength, here I will share the prayers I have long been meaning to get to…prayers I long to memorize so that they become habits upon my lips. (Excerpted from Holiness for Housewives by Van Zeller – a MUST read ~ yearly ~ for any mom!!!)

Prayer in time of exasperation:

Lord, my interruptions are almost more than I can bear. Give me patience. Help me to suppress my irritation for Your sake. Help me to see this provocation as being sent by You for the perfecting of my soul. If I do not let it act for my good, it will inevitably act the other way. Lord, let the surface of my soul be calm, so that it may reflect Your image and Your will. Amen.

 Prayer when in a bad mood:

Lord, I am in a shocking state of mind. I feel as if I ought not to be praying at all: I am too disgruntled for recollection and generosity and good resolutions and all those things that are necessary to be of Your service. But it is better to try to pray now than merely to give in and indulge my poisonous humor. Lord, show me how to deal with myself when rebellion and bitterness well up in me and make life seem far more of a burden than it is. Show me that the remedy lies in submission to You and not in wallowing in self. Amen.

Thank you, Elizabeth, for your ever-so encouraging words today that inspired me to post these (my post-it note to myself and to share with others) as I am still anxiously awaiting your book in the mail!!!

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.     ~Romans 12:2

Linking with Small Steps @ In the Heart of my Home with Elizabeth Foss

Unschooling, New Friends, and a Broken Camera

I’m sobbing as I’m looking at my camera and trying to ~ over and over ~ press a button to make anything work at all. It’s fried. Kaput. I have no idea what happened to it. One day it worked beautifully and the next I tried to turn it on, heard a bzzzing sound and then nothing. It’s stuck in the open position with no power. Battery works. Memory card works. Camera ~ sadly ~ does NOT work!!! I’m heartbroken. How will I live without a camera for the next two months until we can replace it? How will I blog effectively without it? I didn’t realize how much I’ve come to rely on this blog as a scrapbook of our life, capturing it in photos as well as words.

That said, we had a great day today. We met some new friends. Thanks to my new ladies bible class I was introduced to the one other homeschooling mom in Ashland who happens to have 4 kids my kids same ages. After class today we had our first meet & greet playdate. It was loud and chaotic filled with happy noises of playing and promises of being best friends. My house is in shambles but they left at a still reasonable time, Gabe is practicing for the spelling bee, the littles are both down for naps and the other three decided to spend the afternoon drawing with markers at the learning table. (Would love to show you pics of their beautiful drawings but, you know, that whole camera thing and all.)

It is quiet around here. That good kind of quiet where everyone is completely absorbed and involved in their thing. I am happily spending a bit of free time catching up on blog reading and feeling really comfortable that my kids are learning just fine without me for the time being. I love this aspect of unschooling. The ebb and flow of learning and playing, of scheduling and unscheduling, of doing and just being.

And, on that note, I will share a few pics (because honestly, what is a post without pics?) of the kids in their “play” this week. Very imaginative using the cardboard insert from my new mop box to set up a labryinth Mario land for their Mario figurines and Zoobles.

(Don’tcha just love the Mario cut-out pieces?)

The Learning Room and an Amazing Book Review!

January  10 – 21, 2011

We have been spelling, spelling, spelling around here. Next Friday is the spelling bee. We got a late start this year because they didn’t have the lists prepared and I admit, I feel a bit nervous this time around. I know Gabe will do great but his competitive edge will either make for a really great day for him or make him miserable despite all our talks about good sportsmanship and just doing your best. But, really, I’m not that nervous for him. He’s gotten through three pages of list words at the fourth grade level and is aceing all his tests on spellingcity.com. Who I’m really nervous for is Lily. She wants so bad to do well and keep up and is getting frustrated with herself (she is not a naturally good speller) at still having to work on certain words over and over and over again. I’m trying to be as encouraging and supportive as I know how.

On the positive side, our Little House studies are going fantastic. We read two chapters yesterday and Gabe was begging for more. They really enjoy doing the lapbook work and we listened to some jigs yesterday (like Pa played on his fiddle) and we had quite the group of bouncing kids jigging around the house (bet our downstairs neighbors loved that!). Along with jigging we tried our hand at making maple syrup candy with our plethora of snow days. The kids gobbled it up but it was too soft. Would have been better had we had a candy thermometer. They also loved sampling the difference between “real” maple syrup and the hybrid stuff from the store. They noted the difference in flavor and had fun reading the ingredients label but thought each were equally tasty…especially when compared to the sample of more-common molasses they had which they thought tasted like medicine.

Speaking of snow…there has also been quite a lot of sledding going on around here. We have a perfect sledding hill next to our house and my husband has felt extra inspired to be taking the kids out in it. Better him then me, I say! Although, I did sneak outside for a few pics and to rescue my baby who was standing in a snow pile up to her knees, stuck, with tears iced to her cheeks. As much as you want to be a part of the gang at 20 months old, some things aren’t quite as much fun as anticipated!

But our most favorite part of the past 2 weeks…

This little gem of a book that I found on clearance (1/2 price!!!!!) at Barnes and Nobles.

It showcases all the elements in order, like a field guide, with a picture of each elemant in its natural state on one page and then a brief history with pictures of how and what it is used in on the opposite page.

It also showcases a mini-map of where it is on the periodic table; its atomic weight, density, radius, and crystal structure; and where it lies on the atomic emmission spectrum.

It is written by an author, Theodore Gray, who truly is passionate about this subject (a true living book!) and has a knack of drawing you right in despite the fact that you’re learning college level science! Case in point:

The very last column is the noble gases. Noble is used here in the sense of “above the business of the comman riffraff.” Noble gases almost never form compounds with each other or with any other elements.


Alkali metals react with water to release hydrogen gas, which is highly flammable. When you throw a large enough lump of sodium into a lake, the result is a huge explosion a few seconds later. Depending on whether you took the right precaustions, this is either a thrilling and beautiful experience or the end of your life as you have known it when molten sodium sprays into your eyes, permanently blinding you.


Almost everything you see in this book is sitting somewhere in my office, except that one thing the FBI confiscated and a few historical objects. I had a great time collecting these examples of the vibrant diversity of the elements, and I hope you have as much fun reading about them.

It is truly one of the most fascinating books I’ve looked at! And, to put the icing on the cake, it comes with a bonus DVD that plays The Elements Song by Tom Lehrer (a mathematician who wrote satirical educational songs, all of which I find greatly amusing!) . This song is already on our much-played science CD and the kids LOVE it! As the DVD is playing the song, you see the pictures of the elements flash on the screen then find their place on the periodic table. My husband bet the kids that whoever can memorize it first will win $10! If you listen to the song here you will know what a challenge that will be! Phonics? Pisshhh. That’s nothing on pronouncing ununoctium or yanomanmite!

My husband decided that we go through the book with the kids as a full science course. The kids seconded that vote. Then the kids decided (their idea…really, I didn’t even suggest it) that they draw a picture of each element. I just added the nice touch of putting a mini blank periodic table for them at the bottom of the page to “map” where that element is found. They thought that was a great addition and today a new science notebook was born! I loved how their first pages turned out and I would love to show you except my camera is on the fritz. (Hmm…maybe I’ll try scanning?) Gabe even mentioned today that even though they were doing school during their free time (a consequence of not finishing morning chores on time) that it was okay because this was cool and not really like school at all so he didn’t mind missing any free time.

Oh, how my homeschooling mom’s heart went pitter patter just then! Blessings this weekend!

Linked to:

Joy Moments

Because I finally brought myself to watch Ann’s video and remembered that I, too, am going too fast…treating life like an emergency…decided to take a slow road today and watch for the moments. And in my hurry to do dishes and bring order for dinner quickly before little cries begged for nursing, I stole a joy moment of licking chocolate cake batter from the bowl until the heartbroken cry of a little girl reminded me and I quickly returned the bowl and allowed the moments to pass unhurried savoring the delight of smudged faces and pushing away thoughts of baths and laundry. Instead I savoured and grabbed the camera to remember that I don’t always have to be the grownup!

Remembering for the day…


It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work.

It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.

This I strive to remember today as I practice speaking gently to children, encouraging and praising, and turning away wrath with a soft answer!

Blessings this day.


Happy Birthday, Luc!!!

We love you so much big guy!

Happy 5th Birthday!

Hope you love your new iron man costume.

Sure looks like you do!

You’ll always be our super hero!

We love you,

Mom and Dad

The Loot ~ Iron Man costume, Wolverine costume and action figure, Spider Man action figure with spidey car!

Luc’s Birthday Menu:

(picked by Luc)

Breakfast ~ Blue’s Banana Muffins

Lunch ~ Macaroni and Cheese

Dinner ~ Pancakes and Scrambled Eggs with Sausage

Dessert ~ Why, an Iron Man birthday cake, of course! Made with sweet love by Chef daddy.

Enjoying the coveted Eat-in-the-living-room-while-watching-Diego-only-on-your-birthday moment!  (Can you tell we need to vacuum?)



Scheduling…or not!

While I am taking a break nursing in the middle of our put-together-the-playroom-by-the-end-of-the-day project, I linked to the site of another homeschooling momma who journals a little of everything. (Can you tell the name of the blog drew me there? Gentle Art of Chaos…ahhh, how that spoke to me!!!) And then I linked to her How I Schedule School Subjects  post and then I read and laughed the whole time shaking my head. And then I read and laughed and shook my head some more as I thought of my husband who JUST had this conversation with me the other day on how I just frustrate my own self by setting up systems that are bound to fail. And then I laughed as I cried as I read…

In case you want to make your own chart (and really, who wouldn’t?)

…and, again, thought of my husband tsking me as I DO want to make this chart!!! (Really, I’ve been thinking magnets for a while now. Now I know, it can work. Right? Right?)

So, stop on over and read about how we schedule too! (Well, not the chart part…yet…but all the rest is how we fly!)

She is definitely getting added to my blogroll!!!

Peace Amidst Chaos

I just had to pop in here today and share these beautiful photos with you. It is snowing outside. Those big, soft, pillowy snowflakes that land ever so gentle one on top of another to blend into this winter tapestry of beauty. As I stepped outside to get a few pics, peace surrounded my senses. Being out here in the country there was no sound of traffic or neighbors or radios. No city noise. Only the sound of a few geese pierced the stillness.

I wanted to stand there all day soaking it in. But there were chores to watch over, a diaper to change, and a maple syrup history project boiling on the stove. I walked back inside, looked around. My vacuum fritzed out on me yesterday. I see clutter everywhere. Toys, lego bits, baskets of laundry needing folded, scraps and crumbs that need vacuumed, a kitchen floor that needs scrubbed. And I struggle around the chaos. I have all week. I pray minute by minute for order.

I remember a verse we read over breakfast.

I heard an unknown voice say, “Now I will take the load from your shoulders; I will free your hands from your heavy tasks. You cried to me in trouble and I saved you…”  ~Psalm 81: 5b-7a

I look out the window again. I see His order. Beautiful order that has cacooned me. Even though I am surrounded by my own chaos, His order is enveloping me in its perfect stillness. My heart cries out in gratitude and I offer up thanks. I realize that no matter how hard I try the chaos will pursue me. That is the nature of the fallen world. So I will, again, list my thanks where it seems to be lacking and remember that even the smallest amount of this that I can offer up will lift my eyes above this world.

#302 a baby boy who IS peace in this house

#303 with his smiles and coos that fill us brimfull with joy

#304 and his 4-6 hours of continuous sleep through the night

#305 so that I may hold his sister still and drink in the length of her beautiful eyelashes as I listen to her breathe.

#306 a husband who says sorry

#307 and helps me by shopping on roads I cannot travel

#308 for winter beauty

#309 and evergreens that remind us of life even in death

#310 repurposing baskets for long-needed uses

#311 baby powder that dear husband bought for soft baby bottoms

#312 brown sugar and blondie bars even with no chocolate chips

#313 this space, right here with you that I get to share and grow me

#314 memories that serve to soften my heart and remind me of this abundant life and of its blessings

#315 apologies from me to littles setting an example

#316 Laura and Little House and how stories can heal bad tempers and focus hearts again

#317 Life groups and new community

#318 hearing fairy tales read by an emerging reader

#319 hearing, “Mommy, can you teach me to read?”

#320 Bob books and their simplicity

Free Printable Worksheets!

While looking up some help for Lily with spelling today, I ran across this site.

It’s called Super Teacher Worksheets and is full of free printable worksheets in pdf format. Since I’ve been thinking alot about pdf’s and how to organize them (post here, forum question here), I was excited to go ahead and add a bunch of these to my own growing collection before official organizing took place.

My especially favorite downloads today:

Happy Browsing!

The Learning Room

December 27-31

I so wanted to take this week off and organize the learning room and our files. But with all the time we took off for the fall I knew it was unfeasible. Especially since we are trying to stay on a schedule with the kids to develop other healthy family habits. So I forged ahead. It turned out to be a good, productive week. And I got to spend New Year’s weekend on the organizing part (what better weekend then this?).

Our emphasis in Language Arts is the Spelling Bee coming up (January 28th). Since the moderators did not get this year’s list to us until later then usual, we have dropped most other grammar work for now to concentrate on just spelling. We will pick up more grammar starting in February. They both practiced at SpellingCity.com..again, each choosing which words they thought they needed help with…and also helped each other study their lists. Other then that, we are doing a lot of reading. Lily is reading a lot on her own and to the littles. Gabe’s always reading and has been more helpful (of his own accord) and patient with reading to 18 month old Ivy. It’s sweet, really!

 With Math we did the usual but added in learning about fractals. I got this new book in to preview (The Snowflake: Winter’s Beauty Secret) and it is breathtaking to look at. It reminded me of last year’s study of Snowflake Bentley and so I dug up that triangle grid sheet and we made snowflake fractals, poured over the beautiful pictures in this book and read the Shapes Convention chapter (about fractals…cute story!)  from the Fractals, Googles, and other Mathematical Tales. It was a fun day.

Gabe worked on his chapter 11 Math U See (learning averages) which turned into a discussion with dad later that night about statistics and projecting for dice games (he was playing Farkle at the time). I had Lily read me The Coin Counting Book and we did the practice work from this book. I mainly wanted to emphasize with her how us learning to skip count (a thing she hates) ties in with learning about money. She grumbled when the problems got harder but I made us persevere. Her hardest is counting quarters. She has a mental block that adding 25’s to each other is much too difficult. I know she will look back one day and say to herself, that’s actually the easy part!

With history we read chapter 5 of our Little House in the Big Woods book, worked on lapbooks some more, listened to some fiddle music, learned the song “Pop Goes the Weasel”, read some more from If You Were a Pioneer, read a Laura Ingalls Wilder biography and two more of the My First Little House series: Winter on the Farm and A Deer in the Wood. We did narrations on the bio to add to their lapbooks.

Science was the most fun for the kids this week. Since the kids have all been to the dentist in the past two weeks, and since we forgot to take back our library books, and since I found an old pulled molar of mine while getting out the tooth fairy pillow for Lily (who lost another tooth this week), we decided to reread Open Wide (which thrilled the kids). They were amazed at my tooth and feeling real bone and getting to see a real cavity. We followed that with some fun brushing teeth video watching, more fun reading, practice brushing our teeth properly, and labeling a tooth chart. Everyone, including littles, loved this subject and participated with rapt attention. LOVE when that happens!

Fun Dental Books we read:

Fun Dental Resources:

We also read three books for our forest study: The Skunk at Hemlock Circle, Whose Tracks Are These?, and Jim Arnosky’s Animal Tracking. The kids thought the first okay but loved both the second and third and had so much fun following clues and guessing which animal tracks they had found.

Happy New Year!

I thought I’d sneak in here to wish everyone a great new year. I’m excited to see what this year brings for our family. I’ll be posting pics and blessings on gratitude Monday. For now I wanted to share our New Year’s Eve pics.

The kids thought it would be great fun to have a Justice League cartoon marathon (they got the whole DVD series for Christmas) with daddy. He thought it would be great fun to make party hats. So here they are, pre-movie, crafting with dad. Doesn’t Eli look like a gnome? Too cute.

Ivy fell asleep by 11 p.m. but all the other kids made it to just past midnight. I was surprised. I was so ready to crash. I thought they should have been too! Oh to be a child again of such immeasurable energy. We announced that the next day would be pajama day and that everyone could sleep in if they felt like it! *Crossing fingers*

I will be spending today organizing the learning room while everyone else continues the marathon. Maybe will have to take before/after pics to share later! Have a blessed day with your families everyone!