P31 Wannabe

E is for Egg February 19, 2014

Filed under: Homeschooling,Life,Tot School — Lacey @ 12:52 am

K is starting to get the hang of this school thing. She’s even been asking to do “cool” and tries to pull out her school basket when big sis starts her school work. Unfortunately I didn’t get too do as many of the fun egg activities as I had planned.  We ran out of time and I ran out of energy! Plus we were busy doing big sis’ school about Ping and China. I planned D (duck) and E (egg) when big sis was doing her Ping FIAR study so that we could get double dip and reinforce it all even more!  K enjoyed having a Chinese dinner with big sis and making a chinese fan among other things.

We actually did these activities over two weeks.  I meant to only spend one week per letter, but I didn’t feel like we did enough of it the first week, so we spread it into another week.

I love these pictures of her working hard on her school (mind you, she probably crawled down a min or two later.  Her attention span still isn’t very long!). The worksheets shown are all from the tot school section of the 1+1+1=1 blog.



She really enjoys putting the stickers over the letters.  Although she still tries to take them back off at times.  And I’ve been finding the circle stickers randomly around the house.  lol.


She is still isn’t quite getting the color matching concept, but we’ll keep trying.  I color the word with the correct color (we only have a black and white printer), and then I have to repeatedly point to the right one for K to color.


These are some of the duck/egg books we borrowed from the library.  For some of them K sat nice and still, and others she attempted to steal the book, or just got down and played with something else while I continued to read to big sis.




I am also starting to get letter themed books from the library (not sure why I didn’t think about it for the first couple letters we studied).  I don’t expect her to really get the letter sounds at this point (she is 26 months old), but I know the extra exposure won’t hurt her.  And it may even help further reinforce the sounds with big sis (she’s 5).


We had Daddy get the Easter decorations from the attic early so we could play with plastic eggs.  K had a lot of fun opening and closing the various sizes of eggs.  Big sis had fun filling the eggs with small toys.  Later she also hid the eggs for K to find.  This kept them nice and busy so I could fix dinner! K should be an egg finding expert in a couple months when Easter is actually here.



Finally, here’s the foam E I made for K’s wall by her crib.  I put eggs on it, too.  And yes, it’s not very fancy.  I’m going to use them to spell her name.  Ironically all the letters we’ve studied so far are in her first and middle name.



Next up, letter Y so we can finish spelling her first name!


Tot School: K is for Keys

Filed under: Homeschooling,Life,Tot School — Lacey @ 12:45 am

Last week I tried planning out which letters I should teach K when. I tried to relate them to H’s FIAR studies (next week we’re rowing Ping so we’ll do D for duck and E for eggs). But some studies just couldn’t be matched up. During my research for alphabet tot school, I saw a suggestion to teach the letters that are in the child’s name. They suggested that this is helpful because the child will have more interest in the letter when you keep relating it back to their name and they’ll be one step closer to being able to spell it, since they’ll know those letters first. So, this week we are doing K for Kady. We did “A” last week and we’ll be doing “D” next week. The “Y” will work itself in within the next month. Then I’ll prob just fill in the alphabet in order when it doesn’t relate to H’s FIAR books.

Here’s some of the activities we did:

I brought out the K and keys paper. I tried to get her to trace her fingers over the letter with me, and to point out the keys in the K’s. Then I let her color it. She didn’t color much and ended up being more interested in peeling the paper off the crayons. I finally gave up trying to get her attention and let her peel away. After all, that’s kind of a fine motor activity anyways, right? Lol. And besides it kept her busy so I could do school with big sis.


Later I brought out the playdough, K cookie cutters, k magnet and the most exciting of all… Keys! She loved getting to play with keys! They were just ones we let H have to play with. Mainly those ones that come on junk mail for car sales. K kept trying to turn the key while pushing it into my arm. Not the most pleasant. I was trying to brain storm a way for her to have a real working key and lock that would be easy enough for her to use. I’ll have to talk to Daddy about that later. She enjoyed pushing the keys into the playdough and trying to turn them in it.



We used a worksheet from 1+1+1=1 (she has awesome materials on her website for tot school!). I colored the name of each color and tried to get her to put the matching marker cap on each one. She didn’t really get it. And she was more interested in putting the caps on her fingers. I’ll keep doing this with each letter though and hopefully she’ll understand it more soon. At least she’ll be hearing me name the colors if nothing else.

I made a sensory bowl with popcorn kernels, the k cookie cutters, k magnet and keys. She had a lot of fun with this and kept herself busy while I made dinner. Although she did make quite a mess with the kernels all over my kitchen floor. We swept them up, but combined with my dirty floor, they were too gross to use again. But she had fun while it lasted. And even big sis wanted in on the fun!



We tore up foil into small pieces (she enjoyed this part the most), then glued it onto a printout of a key (glue on the back of the print out so you have a clear pattern to cut out). She wasn’t too interested in sticking the pieces to the glue after the first couple. It took some coaxing. After it was finished we taped it to the wall by her bed with the “a” and apple from last week.




We also made this cute guy. I found the print out on Pinterest. She colored it (with some help), I cut it out and together we glued it together. This “roo” (as K calls it) is hanging on her wall, too!


We also did a few other worksheets from 1+1+1=1 that I forgot to take pics of.

Next week we’re learning about D as we continue learning the letters in her name and it also goes with big sis’ book we’re rowing!



The Story About Ping (FIAR 1)

Filed under: Books,FIAR,Homeschooling,Life — Lacey @ 12:11 am

(We finished rowing this book about 2 weeks ago.  I’m slowly trying to catch up on my postings. Check out my Pinterest FIAR board for the resources/blogs where I found most of my ideas.)

We really enjoyed rowing this book. The story was cute. H had a lot of fun learning about China, K can now very clearly say “duck” and H still goes around the house singing “la-la-lei.”


Day 1
We started out by reading Ping. Then we read a few books about China. Both of which I highly recommend.

One of the books had a recipe for Chinese Moon Cookies, so of course we just HAD to make them. At least that’s what H said! They didn’t turn out quite as expected. They were too sticky (even after being in the fridge) to roll out, so I plopped blobs of them onto the cookie sheets. They ended up a bit flat, but they were yummy and were gone in no time!


We watched a couple YouTube videos about China. One was a step by step description of a formal Chinese tea ceremony. The other was about silk worms. The video showed how silk worms are raised, fed, and spin their cocoons. Then how the cocoons are later turned into silk thread. I would not want to be a silk farmer (is that what they’re called?). They have thousands of worms in their houses in this weird shelf bin thing. Then when the worms outgrow their shelves, they dump them on the ground in this room. There are literally thousands of worms crawling all over the ground. Ugh. And the farmer has to keep replenishing the leaves around the clock. That’s worse than a newborn baby! At least newborns are cute! And did you know that the silk worms are basically killed while they are in their cocoons? If the moths actually come out of their cocoons, the silk is then useless because it has been torn. Makes me feel a little bad for those worms. Oh, the things you can learn from YouTube!

We also finished our day by playing a card game called Duck Duck Bruce (since it has ducks in it). It’s a fun game made by Gamewright. Seriously any game by them is great! (We love Moose in the House, Hiss and Sleeping Queens.)

Day 2
Today while we read Ping H graphed Ping’s family:


We read a few more books about China and the Yangtze River where the story of Ping takes place.

We found China on our big map. H drew the Yangtze River on a map of China and colored China’s flag.


The I let her have some free time with paints (at her request). She painted/drew some neat pictures of China completed with cherry blossoms and Ping. I was rather impressed with her Ping picture.



She also watched Mulan 2 since it’s set in China. Nice excuse, huh?

Day 3
Today we read some more books about China and the Yangtze River.

H colored a map of our country and China. And then we made Chinese lanterns.



H made a lot of lanterns and hung them all over the house for Chinese decorations and Valentine’s Day (she made them all pink and red).

This is the book where we found our lantern craft and the other Chinese crafts we did. I highly recommend it!


Then we read a few fun stories about ducks.


Day 4
Today H started out doing a few duck themed worksheets.


Then we read some more China books. H really liked the Mei Ling book and keeps using the name Mei Ling when she’s playing.



H worked on a few parts of the China lap book (that we turned into a regular book instead).

Day 5
H did a few more Ping focused worksheets.


We talked about fiction vs nonfiction books and we came up with some examples of each.

I told H that Ping is considered a classic story and we discussed what that meant. She found it neat that the book was written before her great grandma (Mama) was born and that Mama, Nana, Me and H could have all read Ping while we were each growing up! (Although I never had heard of it before our study.)

We also briefly discussed repetition and found some examples in the story. We talked about why the author would want to use it. And I told her about how the Bible has some good examples is repetition.

We also talked about discernment. We discussed how not everything that looks good is actually good (the rice cake trap for Ping). And we talked about punishments and consequences. Ironically a couple days before we started this book, H admitted to me that she thought she might have lied while in the kid’s program at church. She was very upset about it even though it wasn’t really a big deal (I didn’t tell her that part). It made me happy that she was truly so concerned about doing what is right. After she talked to me about it, she asked if we could learn about not lying and doing the right thing in school. That request surprised me and it just so happened that this book had a similar message about not avoiding punishment and consequences. H thought it was neat. And the lesson really hit home!

We also got some more art fun in. We practiced drawing reflections in water and movement in water with colored pencils (like the artist in Ping did).




Then we made a Chinese Spinning drum (pictured on the cover of the Chinese art book posted about in day 3). I forgot I take a picture though!

We also read some more fun duck books.



Day 6

Today we read a few more fun duck books:


We made a passport book for H to use for all the future FIAR books we study.  I also created country stamps for the countries we learned about with our last book (How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World).  I found the passport template on Pinterest.


Then it was time for some fun water and buoyancy experiments (H’s favorite type of school activity).  We read and tried the experiments we found in this book:


I had H collect some household objects and toys.  We filled the bathtub with water and then I had H predict whether each object would float or sink.










As she predicted each item, she threw it in and we recorded the results.


Then we got some heavier metal objects.  First she put them into the tub and they clearly sunk.  Then we created a boat out of foil.  She still thought that they’d sink, so she was surprised when they floated.


Then the girls had to get into the tub of course and play with all the random toys.  Isn’t science fun?

H also did a Ping copywork page.  She really needs to work on her handwriting. I try to get her to take her time and focus.  She can write neat, but she’s always rushing. I try to keep in mind that she’s only 5.  I debate with myself whether or not to force the neatness.  For now I’m convinced to just give her time to mature and as she gets older I’ll crack down more.











Day 7

Today we counted Ping’s family again while reading the story, and this time H recorded them with tally marks.


Next, we did some more science experiments.  We read the book Ducks Don’t Get Wet.  I forgot to take a picture of this one, but I highly recommend it. Then we experimented with oils since ducks’ feathers are covered with oil, which helps them float. We put olive oil on one bag and nothing on the other.  Then H dropped water onto the bags.  The water didn’t absorb into the oiled bag, but it of course saturated the plain bag.


Next we skimmed through this book:


Then we did an experiment with different kinds of liquids.  We used some of the items listed in the book above, but we also added a few I read about on Pinterest with a similar experiment.  We put in food colored water, dish soap, honey, vegetable oil and corn syrup.  Our top layer is so foamy because I poured the water and then the soap in first.  Didn’t think about the foamy results.  Duh.  I’d recommend not adding the two together.  I think it’d work better with adding some of the other oils in between.  The oils separated better after sitting for a few hours.  H thought all the layers were really neat.


Next, H did a few duck worksheets from homeschool share (I think?):



Next, we put together H’s China book. H drew Ping on the cover with fireworks since the Chinese invented fireworks. All the lapbook pieces were from homeschoolshare.com





This is a picture of a rice farmer and a horse drawn carriage:


We also watched some neat videos on Youtube. The first couple were about farmers from China who create heart and square shaped watermelon.  Then we watched some videos about 10 unique fruits from China, 10 nonchinese Chinese foods, and 10 things you can only buy in China.

Then we had a Chinese dinner.  H put on her Mulan dress and we put her hair up in a bun complete with chopsticks.  We ate cashew chicken, stick rice, egg rolls and attempted to use chopsticks (fail!). We had a little picnic on the kitchen floor since Chinese eat at low tables (we didn’t have one to use).  We also listened to classic chinese music from a pandora station.






And after dinner we made some Chinese fans (from the Chinese craft book mentioned earlier). They ended up quite huge!




Day 8

We read some more fun duck and egg books:



These egg/duck books were really neat.  H loved them both.  K loved the duck pictures in the Duck book.



We used the Duck book to fill out a worksheet (from homeschool share) about what ducks can do at various ages (forgot to take a pic of it). Then H did her setting notebook and chose Yangtze as her vocab word.  I tried to encourage some other words, but this is what she really wanted.  And she drew Ping on the Yangtze river.


Day 9

We read another silly book about eggs today:



Today was actually the Chinese New Year, we read a few more Chinese books:





And then H made her own dragon (from the Chinese art book):



Next, we learned about reflections.  We found all the reflections in the water in The Story About Ping.  Then we read:





The I See Myself book had some neat exercises that we did with a small mirror and a flashlight.  I also showed H how words are reflected backwards in mirrors and then I wrote her name backwards and she looked at in the mirror.  She thought that was pretty cool!

Later H drew her own dragon:



Ping was a lot of fun to row.  H loved learning about China and continues to tell our extended family what items China invented and loved showing her China book off.  And now she wants to make a country book for each of our other rows!




Lentil (FIAR 1) February 17, 2014

Filed under: Books,FIAR,Homeschooling,Life — Lacey @ 2:05 am

(Check out my Pinterest FIAR board for the resources/blogs where I found most of my ideas.)

(We finished our study last week.)


Day 1
Today we started by reading the theme book (of course!). Thankfully I had gotten online and ordered the library books early enough that a lot of them came in right away. Although I wasn’t so early in my actual lesson planning (ahem, I finished late the night before.)

Next we read these books about fractions. The pie book was cute and simple to understand.
Then we played with the felt fractions I had made a while back. We pretended that they were different kinds of pies and I had her answer how much of each pie I pretended to eat, etc.

Afterwards I pulled out this game that I found a few months ago on clearance at Walmart. She had never seen it so it was a fun surprise for her.
We played a round of the game (she won!) then she wanted to play restaurant and take our orders. So Daddy and I made up orders and she had to fill them (1/16th piece of cheese, 1/2 supreme and 2/8 cheese, etc). She had a lot fun with this.

Day 2
Today we read Lentil again. Then we read a few more fraction books:


Then we read a couple music books: (both were really neat stories)
Then I surprised H with a real harmonica! It’s Daddy’s, but she gets to borrow it for a while. And boy, are we in for a lot of noise, I mean music! She was so excited!
We watched a few short YouTube videos on how to play harmonica and then a video of someone playing the song that Lentil plays.
Next she colored a harmonica page.
Later on we went to the San Francisco symphony’s kid website. It’s awesome! We watched a video on the basics of music theory. H drew these notes and how many beats they’re each worth while we watched. The note with the face is from the video. Lol.
Then we explored (and reviewed) the musical instrument families on the website. They show you each family and you can you click on the different instruments to hear a sample of music. H also used their composer game to make a short score of music.

H also did a sheet of math word problems based on the Lentil story.
And at dinner time she helped daddy cut our pizza and named the different fractions as he cut. Talk about real life learning! I love homeschool.

Day 3
Today we started with a tasting experiment. We used a worksheet from homeschool share to record the different tastes she tried. We had 4 different bowls full of salt water, sugar water, melted unsweetened (bitter!) chocolate and lemon juice. She tasted each one using a q-tip. The chocolate one threw her for a loop! It was definitely not the sweet chocolate she was expecting!

We used a mirror to look at her tongue so I could point out the taste buds. She also tried lemon heads since lemons are an important twist in the story. She wasn’t the biggest fan of them.

Next we read a few books about taste and an interesting story about cooking:

I highly recommend the “how taste works” book. Simple enough for H to understand but still quite detailed.

Then, like Lentil we decided to turn our lemons into lemonade. Only this time, real lemonade! We had fun squeezing and tasting the yummy fresh lemonade. I used an easy recipe I found online. And all the measuring was good math and fraction practice.

And after all the squeezing, I got H to lick a lemon. She didn’t quite make a full pucker, but she did make a funny face!

Then we read a neat book about music (I recommend this one, too): 20140206-013540.jpg

Then H sorted these instrument cards into their families. The cards I found on the free homeschool deals website. 20140206-013738.jpg20140206-013747.jpg

After all the other school was done H got to do a taste experiment her way. She gathered different bits of food and then made me close my eyes while she fed me each one. I had to guess each item. Yes. It requires a lot of trust (in a 5 yr old) and bravery (because of the obvious). Some items weren’t bad, others weren’t so pleasant (cold leftover roasted broccoli). Mainly because I didn’t know what to expect. She gets such a kick out of this experiment (we’ve done it more times than I can count). And this time she even got tricky and shoved multiple items into my mouth. Some of them that weren’t so complimentary. Think vanilla wafer, ranch crackers, cheese and almonds. Yep. That’s about when I ended my participation.

Day 4

H started out by doing a Lentil word problem worksheet.


Then we read a book about Ohio.
H traced the outline of Ohio and colored the state flag. 20140207-154329.jpg
We learned that Ohio is the only state that has a flag that isn’t a rectangle. H found it very interesting and repeated this fact to a number of people. She also thought it was funny that Ohioans are also called Buckeyes.

Next we talked about being disagreeable and grumpy. We talked about why old Sneep was so grumpy which led us to talk about jealousy. Then we read a few books about being grumpy. They were all really good. I especially liked the Grumpy Mr. Grady book. It was about homeschooling and had a great message.


We also talked about patriotism and why we should be proud of our country. Then we read a few books about America and our flag:


Day 5
This morning we were looking to see if the Olympics were on yet and since they weren’t, we ended up watching Daniel Tiger. And ironically it had some instruments in it. They played a timpani drum, violin, guitar and trumpet.
Then we watched the Haunted Museum episode of Magic school bus. They learn about sound waves and instruments.

Next we reviewed the definition of patriotism and read a couple good books about it. (I recommend both, especially the Impossible Patriotism Project.) 20140207-161106.jpg

Then we read a book about music 20140207-161350.jpg

H finished up by coloring a flag. We talked about what the Stars and Stripes symbolize.











Day 6
Today we read a few books about America, patriotism and our flag (the cake one was great!):

We talked again about veterans and patriotism and then headed to the Veteran’s Memorial Museum. I had told H last week about it and she has been begging to go ever since. I had never been there and was thoroughly impressed by all that they had. I especially liked that it was free! The woman that works there was very kind. She gave us a brief tour and gave the girls some souvenirs.

















We had some good discussion about why we should thank veterans for fighting in wars for us, what freedoms we have, and the names of the different wars. I also told H about September 11th since they had a display with two pieces of metal from ground zero.

After we came home we read a couple of books about music.


Day 7

Today we started out by talking about what Lentil was good at and what he couldn’t do (even though he wanted to!). Then we discussed what H is good at:


Then I asked H what are some of the things her friends can do but she can’t. She had a hard time thinking of anything.  The only thing she thought of was how she can’t pick her nose with her tongue like her cousin can! I told her that’s quite alright. lol

Then H filled out her field trip log from our trip yesterday.  She wrote the shorter words and phrases (I helped with spelling) and I wrote the longer parts of the page for her. She also drew a neat picture of the museum and the tank on the back of the page.




Then we read another book about taste:



Later we read the Magic School Bus book that went with the episode she watch a few days ago.



Then we looked at a couple of books about music.  Both of them were a little too complicated for our uses (and H’s age), but we still skimmed them.  The What is Art: Music book was pretty good for the most part, and we mainly just looked at the pictures in the Usborne one.



Then H did her own sound experiment by playing her harmonica in the bathtub like Lentil. Then she played under the blankets on the bed.  We talked about which setting sounds the best.  H decided she liked under the blankets the best.  We discussed how the sounds were different because of the hard vs soft surroundings.



Day 8

I had H start our school day by sorting the instruments into their families again for review.


Then we worked on geography again. H found Ohio (after a number of guesses), then dumped the puzzle and put it all together. I tried to name some of the states as she put them back together.  She used to know over half of them, but not anymore.

Then H colored our state (Florida) and Ohio on the worksheet and we talked about what direction we would have to travel to get to Ohio (North!).


Then we did a geography minibook.  H drew a picture for each page from our house to our planet.  I think we must have missed a page because it went from state to planet.  But I think she got the idea.


Next we started talking about architecture. I asked H what house was the neatest in Lentil.  H quickly said “Colonel Carter’s!” We looked at story of Lentil and talked about all the neat and unusual parts of Colonel Carter’s house.  Then we read a few books about the different aspects of architecture:



I would highly recommend all 3 books.  They were all very interesting.  We read most of the Old House New House book, but some of it was too complicated for H.  It was interesting to see how the house changed over time and what renovations they did.

Then H pulled out her blocks.  She built a castle, a town and I helped her with a tower (like the skyscraper book).



Day 9

We started today by continuing our architecture lesson from yesterday. We worked together to draw Colonel Carter’s house while looking at the page from Lentil.  I tried to get H to draw it herself, but she complained it was too hard and started getting upset.  So we worked together.




Next, we tried whittling with soap like Old Sneep does (he uses wood though, of course). We used some Ivory soap I had left from another experiment.  I wouldn’t recommend using Ivory though, it crumbles way too easily.  A softer soap would do better.  But the girls still had fun cutting it up and making a mess.



Next, H figured out the setting for Lentil and chose her vocab word: monument.  She did a good job illustrating her new word.



Then we talked about the elements of a good story.  I drew a basic mountain type illustration and I tried to explain them at a 5 yr old level.


Then I had H do a reading response worksheet for Lentil (I found it for free from teachers pay teachers).


Next, went online and did a really neat story elements interactive website (found it on Pinterest). It was a bit long at times, but H stayed with it pretty well, especially because the story used was Cinderella.  There were a lot of neat interactive activities throughout it.  After we finished it, H took the provided test.


Next, we did a roll-a-story (I found it on teachers pay teachers).



Then we used the story elements H rolled to write a story.  I typed while H narrated.  I helped her rephrase a few sentences and encouraged her to add a few more details.  Next, after printing it out, H illustrated her story.

Day 10

Today we tied up all the loose ends of our Lentil study.  We read another book about taste and some about patriotism, our flag and America.



We looked through another book about Ohio and learned some interesting facts about the Amish community.


Later we played around with big brother’s charcoal pencil. I tried it out first to get the hang of the sketching technique.  We looked at some of the pages of Lentil and noted how the artist shaded and sketched with charcoal.


Then I had H experiment with it.  She had a hard time getting the hang of it.  She kept wanting to use it like a normal pencil and her drawing and coloring with it made awful noises! I kept trying to get her sketch and shade and it caused some battles and tears (not at all what I expected!). She finally was able to at least try it better.  Below are her drawings.  The first one is only charcoal and in the second she drew with charcoal and then colored in with regular colored pencils.


We had a lot of fun rowing Lentil and are looking forward to our next study: Madeline!


Maybe there’s something to this Amish thing… February 15, 2014

Filed under: God thoughts,Homeschooling,Life — Lacey @ 10:16 pm

This week on H’s school, we were learning about Ohio. In a couple of the books we looked at, there were pictures of the Amish and their buggies since there is a large Amish population in Ohio (at least according to the books, I’ve never been there).

I was explaining to H what Amish people are like and what they believe. H declared that she doesn’t want us to ever become Amish because she likes colorful clothes too much! Lol.

In one of the books we read, America the Beautiful: Ohio, I found a number of facts about the Amish interesting and it made me start to wonder if maybe they do a lot more right then we realize.

  • They base their lifestyles on Romans 12:2 “Be not conformed to the world.”
  • Simplicity is more important than convenience.
  • Amish men stop shaving their beards after they’re married (I never knew this.  This explains the long beards! And I’m glad we don’t follow this tradition, although it might cut down on infidelity.  No just slipping a ring off, you’d have to shave your beard off and that would be a bit more obvious! Although pity the man who can’t grow a beard…)
  • Self-reliance and neighborly assistance are valued strongly. (I like this a lot!)
    • They believe if they are faithful to their religious values, their needs will be met.
    • They don’t expect the government to take care of them.  They don’t collect social security, medicare or medicaid benefits.  They take care of their own elderly and needy members of their community.
    • They still seek modern medical care, but they don’t have health insurance.  Instead, they pay members’ medical expenses out of a community fund (sounds a lot like the sharing ministry we’re a part of).
    • They help each other build their houses (think barn raising!) and harvest their crops.

I really like their values with taking care of each other, not relying on the government for handouts (or anything else!), and their simple way of life.  While I am super thankful for modern technology and conveniences (hello grocery stores, hot water and electricity), I can also understand the reasons that they choose to live without those things.

I don’t really believe that those things are sinful in and of themselves, though.  Preaching that they are isn’t truthful and is in essence putting extra hedges around God’s Word.  Hedges that while meant to protect, also ends up limiting the freedom that God’s grace provides.  All that being said, I don’t think that God intended for us to live life in such a fast pace either.

The American way of life leaves a lot to be desired.  The fast paced, always busy, mom-is-a-taxi way of life isn’t best.  I am personally so glad that I get to stay home with my kids. I am glad that we aren’t both working although having two paychecks would be nice, its not worth it to be so busy and stressed and never spending enough time with the kids.  Who am I kidding? I don’t feel like I spend enough time with them when I’m home all day with them.  How in the world would I get to spend any time with them if I worked outside the home? But that’s a whole other discussion.

Seth and I have talked on multiple occasions about whether we should have our kids (obviously just H at this point, K is way too young) in outside activities like sports, dance or music lessons.  We’ve both agreed that we honestly don’t think its ideal at least in this stage of life.  We feel like we’re busy enough as it is.  We don’t want to commit to any more time spent outside the home.  Our budget can’t really afford it either.

I say all this to express that I think the Amish get a number of things right.  They band together and help support each other.  Isn’t that what the Body of Christ is meant to do? How much more could we get accomplished if we lived in unity, selflessness and generosity? Wouldn’t we have much more time to serve each other and to spend with our families if we lived simpler lifestyles?  Just a thought.


D is for Duck (updated) February 12, 2014

Filed under: Homeschooling,Life,Tot School — Lacey @ 3:10 pm

(I’m behind on my posting. This is from about 3 weeks ago.)

This week we learned about D since it’s the next letter in Kady’s name and it also related well to the book we rowed with H’s school: The Story About Ping.

K had a lot of fun with ducks this week and can now say duck with a very heavy accentuated “ck” at the end.

K colored a D worksheet from 1+1+1=1. She was very careful to color the duck at each end of the letter.


I got out our duck game. I wouldn’t have thought to use it, except the above mentioned blog talked about it. So I pulled it out and K loved it! She played with it for days. She pulls out all the ducks, puts them on the pond, pushes the super annoying quacking button then turns it off, puts them away. Then later does the whole process over again. It keeps her nice and occupied!

She really got a kick out of covering up all the “d”s with the circle stickers. She made herself laugh when she covered up the poor duck’s eyes and beak, too!


I let her paint with some bingo markers. She loved it! But my table didn’t! She hasn’t quite gotten the concept down to paint and not violently dot it. And it leaks through the paper. Thank goodness for baby wipes and magic erasers!


We tried the color coordinating again. This time I gave her a crayon or colored pencil and pointed out (and kept having to remind her) which one to color each time.

She painted again with q-tips. She still hasn’t gotten the idea to only paint the dots on the letter. That or she just prefers to be more freestyle.


She did a lot better this week with stamping the cookie cutter in paint and carefully placing them on the paper.



She got a big kick out of being able to stamp the ducks into the playdoh (they have different shapes on their bottom), along with the cookie cutters.


We also read a lot of “d” themed books this week. Although K still doesn’t sit still very long. So most of the books she listened to while she ran around or played on the floor and big sis sat with me.




I made a “D” with a duck for K’s wall by her bed. I’m hoping she’ll enjoy looking at them during nap time and maybe it’ll help them stick in her mind more, too. I’m working on spelling her name first.


Big sis wanted in on the crafty fun, too. So she made K some eggs (for E) and a duck and a donut (for D).



Books 3-5 (Empty Shelf Challenge) February 6, 2014

Filed under: Books,God thoughts,Life — Lacey @ 8:40 pm

I’m behind on posting my informal reviews for the books I’ve read as part of Jon Acuff’s empty shelf challenge. So here’s the next 3 I read:

This one is the second in the Seasons series by Janette Oke. And it was a great one! One of my favorites of the four. There was a lot of interesting dialogue between the main character and his new atheist friend. The main character did a lot of questioning of his faith, which led to a number of great observations that relate to real life:

“Either God was God–or He wasn’t. There was no moving Him in and out if my life with the mood I happened to be in.”

“Things didn’t just accidentally fall into being, that there is a Creator. Things didn’t just evolve. And because God was really God, He has the right to ask His creation to walk in His ways.”

“Did a person have to turn over everything–every part of life when he asked God to direct his ways? Wasn’t there some way I could still choose some areas where I could still be in control?”

The next book I read (in only a day!), is the third in the series:

This one was another great read and probably my favorite of all four. There was more soul searching by the main character that led to more good applicable truths. The author made a good point that sometimes we wait for God to call us to big and great things but that we are serving him the way he wants right where we are. That he can use us in the seemingly mundane and ordinary things.

My next book was the fourth and final book in the Seasons series.

Of all four, this one was my least favorite. It was still good, but it was a bit slower and more drawn out than necessary and then when it finally got more exciting at the end, the author rushed the conclusion (at least in my humble opinion). However, I’d still highly recommend this book and the entire series (of course!). I’m looking forward to reading Janette Oke’s other two series sometime this year.