Back To (Home)school

I was so excited for our first day of school.
Back to routine, back to normal.
Plus I had so many cool new things to share with the kids!
A new school room, new school supplies, new curriculum and ideas!
And I'll admit, it was fun but also eventful and challenging and frustrating!
Thus my "what-not-to-do-in-the-first-week-of-school' post!

1. Do not start your school year by surprising the kids with a new school room.
They will be far more interested in discovering all the new things the room has to offer than getting any work done.

2. Do not except the baby to sleep according to her usual schedule.
Bad idea.
She will instead be bothered by teething or constipation or being excluded from all that serious learning happening downstairs.

3. Do not expect your oldest to enjoy something new and challenging.
Rather be prepared for some sighs and whines and perhaps even a very stinky attitude.

4. Finally, do not assume that you yourself will not be struck by some nasty virus that causes an awful headache and quadruples your need for sleep.

Oh the woes of an amateur homeschooling mom!
But it wasn't all bad!
Here are some of the highlights of the week so far!

Piper LOVES her Grapevine bible studies!
This works so well for her!
Each day she draws a picture of the lesson.

Taitum is so enthusiastic!
Even putting a new ice cream scoop on the cone for each color she learns causes oodles of excitement!

Piper is flying through her math workbook.
(Its just one of those ones you can buy at Walmart. We are also following the ABC Jesus Loves Me 5 year old curriculum math schedule.)

And this just makes me smile!
Two little girlies working on their math lesson together!

Tait is learning her alphabet with All About Reading Level Pre-1.
Also, that pointer she's using?
Probably the biggest hit out of all the new school stuff I had for them!

Tait is coloring her "Blue Book" from her ABC Jesus Loves Me curriculum.
I debated even bothering to print these off since I didn't think she'd care to complete them.
She has surprised me with her excitement in coloring each color book I give her!

AND she is kept nice and busy with this kind of stuff while I work on lessons with Piper! 

Piper is also using the All About Reading Level 1 curriculum.
But I'll save that for a whole other post.
(Ahem, #3...)
But we're making progress which is pretty encouraging considering we've been at it less than a week.

I'll also share our BFIAR row with you in another post, too.

Anyhow, at the end of the day I'm still so happy with the choice we've made.
It's going to be full of challenges and frustrations and hard work.
But the joy of getting to learn together, to watch each child grow in so many ways FAR outweighs any difficulties we face!

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Dear Self

Full of delights.
And yet, a time that frazzles and drains faster than the seemingly busiest parts of the year.
Stop. See. Breathe.
And thank.
The endless whir of soccer schedules.
The whiney drone of routine-less children.
The groan resulting from scrambling to concoct another grill friendly meal.
All drowning out the sweet, simple song of gratitude.
In the fleeting moments of sunshine and crickets chirping, of splashing and bicycle wheels turning.
Grasp for it.
Enjoy these small treasures that too quickly move on.
Don't waste a second more on clean or organized or planned or perfect.
Because this time calls for all of you.

It’s never the wasting of time that hurts so much as the wasting of ourselves.
~Ann Voskamp

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Blueberries For Sal {BFIAR}

With one week left until my hubby was on a 3 week vacation, I decided to 'row' one more book with the girls before commencing our totally relaxing, care-free vacation....;)
We jumped into Blueberries for Sal since it's blueberry and raspberry picking time around these parts.
Unfortunately, it rained on the days that we were able to go berry picking so that little adventure has been postponed but we had fun with blueberries nonetheless!

First, we had a berry hunt.
I got the girls to go to their room while I hid 'blueberries' (blue pom poms) all around the living room.
They were delighted to search for the hidden berries!
Once they were all retrieved, I got Tait to fill cups labeled with numbers 1 to 5 correctly.
Piper took it upon herself to take pictures and I was quite pleased with the rare shot of me teaching one of my children!
(Tait was having trouble identifying the number 3 in this picture so I was helping her by having her count my fingers in this pic.)

Next Piper was given the task of taking the pom poms and grouping them in groups of 5.
Then we practiced counting by 5's together.
(The roles were reversed and Tait became the photographer capturing this moment.)

Another day, I introduced the literary device onomatopoeia.
I used the sound made when Sal drops blueberries in her empty tin bucket ("Kerplink, kerplank, kerplunk") as an example.
I wasn't so sure Piper would get it but as we worked on the craft she's displaying below we discussed what it meant and I asked if she could think of any other examples.
To my surprise she came up with about ten!
I'm forever underestimating her abilities!

The craft was simple -
They colored the bucket I drew containing the words 'onomatopoeia', 'kerplink', 'kerplank' and 'kerplunk'.
Then they added blueberries by dipping a pom pom in blue paint and make prints with it.

Piper enjoyed the challenge of saying the word 'onomatopoeia' correctly!
We shared a few giggles over her first few attempts but it didn't take long before she was able to say it just right!
Now both girls will say it randomly throughout the day just because!

In the story there is a mama bear and baby bear who are eating berries on the same hill that Sal and her Mama are picking berries.
Mama bear encourages baby bear to eat lots of berries so he will grow big and fat and store up food for the long, cold winter.
We went on to discuss hibernation.
The girls then pretended to be bears.
They went looking for food to eat so they could grow big and fat for the winter.

They discovered blueberry muffins waiting for them!
(They had baked them earlier themselves but I didn't take any pictures since I was directing the process and was on damage control!)

Then they went looking for a warm, cozy cave to sleep in for the winter!
Tait chose a spot in the play tent while Piper buried herself deep in a closet.

Finally, the girls enjoyed a blueberry smoothie while they narrated the story for Daddy!

That wraps up our last 'row' before we start school again on August 27th!
I'm nearly done all my lesson plans for the coming year so I'm hoping that I can maybe make myself relax a bit over the next couple weeks!
(And by relax I mean finishing a few non-homeschool projects I have in mind! Ha!)

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I love motherhood.

We're a smiling family.

I'm a covenant keeper.

I love my husband.

I am above self pity.

I am a nation builder.


Worth more than rubies.

“I am more convinced than ever that even in the midst of the mundane, burdensome, and oftentimes frustrating tasks of life allotted to me as a mother, God wants me to find his joy. He wants every single day of my life to be a celebration of his blessings, whether large or small. He wants me to celebrate life ~ the life He has given me.”

~ Sally Clarkson

My Hubby

My Hubby
He's my bestest.


She is my compassionate, dramatic, fun to be around 6 year old. She loves to shop, get dressed up fancy and anything else that screams girly!


She is my goofy, snuggly 4 year old who loves to sing and dance and smile all day long!


She is our one year old smarty pants! She does all she can to keep up with her older sisters and to keep them in line!

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