Thursday, March 17, 2011

Schooling at home

One of the most rewarding things so far about schooling at home is watching Hannah as she has progressed from a non-reader/non-writer to a beginning reader/writer.  She is left-handed and often has trouble with left/right writing and letter or number formation. 

Much of this is developmental and she'll grow out of it.  She needs to keep practicing to train her brain and her hand to work together to form characters correctly.  I've read and seen that drawing "figure 8's" is one way to reinforce this eye-hand-brain coordination.  Occasionally I've set up the big dry erase board so she can full-arm these motions.  The other day I had her doing it while I was washing dishes.  I sensed somehow (Mommy 6th sense) that those figure 8s weren't forthcoming and I turned around to see this:

"What are you doing?  You're supposed to be drawing your figure 8s."
"I'm making a figure 8 person.  Its you, mama!"

"Han, draw your 8s please!"
"OK!  OK!  I'll have to ruin this picture of you, though!"

I mentioned, too, a few posts back that we had been reading through the Old Testament according to Penny Gardner's timeline I found via Ambleside Online.  Using some leftover clay and toothpicks I wanted them to build the Tower of Babel, using this kid's model as a guide:

Here's what we got:

And then, as I think you're supposed to do when studying geography - we made a salt map of the United States.  Actually I  made the salt map and Han labeled it with our "important" points of reference.  (How's Texas lookin atcha?)  Pretty good, right?!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

You know, all I wanted to do was just get them out of the house so I could get a little work done. The temperature was hovering around 60 and I figured that a little fresh air would help.

But then I heard an Indian War Whoop and went to the carport to find this:

"Watch THIS, mama, I'm doing a RAIN DANCE!" 

"And I painting the table, mama!"

(Sigh.)  Time to fire up the washing machine....

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Metal detecting at an unnamed location.  We netted $.87!

The girls occupy themselves while daddy detects and mama scoops at another top secret location.

Some girls get more into their building projects than others.  Note the air cast on her left ankle...she only had days left worth of wearing it.

After a tough day of walking the beach, it was time for a little R&R!

Monday, March 14, 2011


Abbo in the gazebo at the Cheese Store in Gap Mills, WV
Ice skating in the parking lot
"Smile for the camera, girls!"
Hannah on crutches....she's done with all of that - cast, crutches, air cast....she's completely healed after 2 minor breaks to her ankle.  Just in time for spring, too!
OK, then, DON'T smile.  Make faces at the camera, then!

Our First Geocache!

At an impromptu stop at Rucker's Gap, we happened upon this tucked in behind an old grave on the mountainside.
Woo-hooo!  Although I can't get our own GPS to work, we stumbled on this with no modern technology at all....just old fashioned curiosity...
And we found quite a stash inside - the girls each took a trinket and I added some band aids and first aid cream.  We'd come unprepared to reciprocate 'donations'.
Here's the grave site we'd spotted in the woods.  The story I looked up later was sad:  He was a local boy whose stomping grounds included these beautiful woods at Rucker's Gap on the Virginia/West Virginia line.  He and his best friend promised one another that whoever died first would have the other buried in their favorite part of the woods. 
This was another grave site nearby. although I don't know the history.
I worked and worked on getting our GPS figured out.  I finally gave up and considered selling it on EBay to raise money for a new one.  THEN I read the instructions and I think I understand what to do now.  If I'm right, there are dozens of caches locally and I am looking forward to incorporating 'hunting' into our regular routine!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

excuse note

There was a minor upheaval in our house to which I can attribute my lack of posts of late! 
When we first moved into this house, Hannah claimed the master bedroom as her own.  We gave in, thinking that she would share it with her Tiny Baby Sister when she arrived, the third bedroom would be an office - and that plan worked in theory. 
You probably know that I kept each one of those tiny babies in my bed until they quit nursing and then moved them to their own beds.  Abigail was an easy transition from mama's bed to her own, and she actually slept well in her own bed.  At first. 
Abigail discovered all of the exciting things on her sister's side of the room at about the same time that Hannah began to be (naturally) possessive of things that were hers.  She also discovered that trying to keep her sister awake in the evenings was great fun and a source of great attention from her parents.
So...we did the room swap.  Each girl got their own bedroom and we lost the office/spare bedroom.  Andy and I are now in the master bedroom and while this arrangement has worked out very well for the girls, Andy and I have had to adapt.  The television/VCR and computer are now in our bedroom.  So when one or the other of us goes to bed, the other has to avoid clicking the keys late into the night. 
We need more space - another bedroom would be great, but so would a den.  Don't even get me started on a second bathroom!  It will come, I'm sure - I'm praying daily - but until then, we're crowded.  For school, we use the kitchen table - most homeschoolers do - and I send Abigail to my bedroom to watch a video when she's finished with her work. But she's so far away from us that its like sending her to the barrens.  Andy likes to fall asleep to the TV on, which is a surefire way to trigger a bout of insomnia for me...we're still learning to adapt.
This passage comes to mind whenever I consider our housing arrangements: 

Philippians 4:11-13  11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

It comes to mind, but in all honesty, I do not feel content in this situation.  I struggle daily with it on some level.  I look to friends who are more tightly packed into their homes who make things work and I quit bellyaching to myself about it.  Is this coveteousness?  Maybe.  That just occurred to me.  I don't covet any specific home, nor do I fault anyone for the homes they have.  I just feel that we need to spread out a little more here - have more privacy, more room to be efficient.  Nothing excessive or ostentasious.
So there, friend, is my rant/excuse as to why I've been quiet for awhile.  We've been settling in to our new living arrangements.  Hannah can now stay up till all hours telling her "stories" in peace, Abigail has her own group of toys to call her own, while Daddyo and Mama race to be the first to fall asleep so as not to be disturbed by the others' snores.