Saturday, September 14, 2013

Little Bear

Yesterday morning, as I was making my coffee in my quiet kitchen, I heard a sound outside the window that resembled the sound of someone throwing bottles into the trash can. I peeked through my window to find a bear's behind sticking out of my trash can. I ran and grabbed my camera. I came back to the window, tapped on the glass, and Little Bear looked up at me. Woah. I've got a bear in my backyard.

All the kids were still asleep, so I did what any sane mother would do. I went outside to get better pictures so I could show the kids when they woke up.

 Here he is, crossing second base.

 He took a nice stroll through the yard, and around our tree. I watched him put his nose in the air and take one last whiff before going through the bushes and into the neighbors yard. Bye, Little Bear!

Thanks for the mess.

*A little side note. I call him "little" because he was obviously not a grown bear, but still large! As John would say, he's more of a "teenager bear". I dubbed him Little Bear after one of our favorite characters from the Little Bear stories by Elsa Holmelund Minarik.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Our 2nd First Day of School for 2013-2014

Today was our second first day. Our first 1st day was almost a month ago. It was the day we were suppose to start, but I wasn't ready. We started anyway. It didn't go very well. So I decided we would wait a week so that I could finish up our plans and start things right. But then Grandpa Skube died, and then it was time for the beach. So, I'm claiming today as our official First Day of School. :)
As you can see, school happens all around the house. Our basement is our "school room", but we move accordingly. Overall, I would say it was a successful start to our year. We didn't get to everything I had planned because there were many, many, many interruptions.  It took the kids a long time to settle down, but I expected that. Hopefully after a few days they will get back into the rhythm of school. But we still covered a lot! I think the kids enjoyed themselves. Summer was nice while it lasted, but I believe we're all ready to get back into a routine.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Oh, Happy Day!

Lots of stuff packed, a borrowed vehicle that can fit all that stuff (and 7 people), happy kids, and painted toenails (even little Marguerite got her toes painted!). It must be beach time!! Oh, happy day! :)

*Funny story- I had mentioned to Mike that maybe we should ask our neighbor to keep an eye on our house while we're gone. John must have been listening, because while Mike was loading up the car, and while I took that picture of the kids, our neighbor happened to come outside. Then I heard John tell him that we were going to the beach, and could he look after the house while we were gone. Our neighbor told him that would be no problem and John thanked him. I just stood there and smiled, not sure what to say (I'm so good at that). So much for homeschoolers being strange and unsocialized! ;)

*And poor Rose. Her feet are looking more and more like her mother's. ;)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

R.I.P- Grandpa Skube

Requiem Aeternam dona eis, Domine
et lux perpetua luceat eis:
Requiescant in pace. Amen.

Captain Edward Anthony Skube, Sr.

Eternal rest, grant unto him O Lord
and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May he rest in peace. Amen.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Home-schooling 2013-2014

My kids are growing so fast! I find it unbelievable that Rose will be going into 5th grade!! I have a 5th grader! Wow. I still feel so new at this whole home-schooling gig, but we have learned so much along the way. I finally feel like I have found our groove, and I am ever more excited about this school year.

Last year was a "survival year" since Marguerite came along in October. I bought a "boxed" curriculum, which I never do, to make it easier on me to teach. But workbooks are so boring! And honestly, I didn't feel like they were learning anything. They would do the work, but it didn't sink in. They still passed their CAT tests, though. :) Anyway, we are all looking forward to a FUN year!

We have a Charlotte Mason inspired home-school. Lots of short lessons, covering an array of subjects. Get them exposed to lots of things so they can find something they're passionate about! :) While covering the basics, of course.
It was really tricky trying to plan this year. Since I had to put so many things on the back burner last year, I was a bit eager to get to those things this year. But I'm afraid I may be a bit too ambitious. Who, me? And the problem when I get too ambitious, is that I draw up these elaborate plans and then don't follow through with them. Something I'm trying to work on... so, I am going to write everything here for accountability, and then maybe I'll actually stick with the plan. :) But planning a lot of different things for 4 different kids was A LOT of work!! It's pretty much taken me all summer. Charlotte Mason also did short days so that kids had plenty of free time to play outside and get into trouble discover. I'm afraid our days are quite long, but I couldn't find a way to get around it. There's 4 different grades and only 1 teacher! I did the best I could, and we'll see how it works out. Sometimes things look great on paper, but not so great in reality. Only time will tell. :) Here's the plan:

Mondays: Co-op (Memory Work, Art, Music, Earth Science, Medieval History, and Religion)

7:30- Morning Chores
             ~ Eat, Make bed, get dressed, brush hair/teeth, clean kitchen
8:30- Circle Time
             ~ Prayer, Memory Work, States & Capitals, Catechism, and Bible Study, Multiplication Facts
10:00- Break/Snack
10:15- Main Lessons
11:40- P.E. (Outside, weather permitting)
12:10- Lunch
12:30- Main Lessons cont.
1:30- Music Time for young kids (lead by Rose), Guitar practice for John
2:00- The Arts (different creative projects each day)
3:00- Afternoon chores
4:00- Free playtime!
5:30- Dinner

7:30- Morning Chores
8:30- Morning Prayer
8:45- Shakespeare
9:15- American History
10:00- Snack and Story time (Classic Literature)
10:30- Nature Study (backyard, and at least once a month to Skyline Drive)
12:10- Picnic lunch outside
1:00- Picture Study
1:10- Composer Study and Quiet Play
2:00- Math Fun (stories and games)
3:00- Afternoon Chores
4:00- Free playtime!
5:30- Dinner

Are you exhausted just from looking at all that? Or maybe that's just me. ;) It's going to be a lot of work, but so worth it. We're going to learn so much. I say "we" because I learn just as much as they do. I just shared this with the kids and they think it's "awesome"! Let's hope they keep that enthusiasm.

*These are pictures from our 2012-2013 school year. :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

And A Year Goes By...

 Wow. I had no intention of leaving this place for more than a year. Chatterbox reminded me on the 4th of July that it had been a year since I last blogged. She likes to look through my old posts, so she was aware of the last time I was on here. It's an important space for her. She likes to look back at what we did. She is huge on traditions! And being able to look back at our traditions is fun for her. It's fun for all of us, really. So I feel that keeping a collection of these memories is very important to our family. I would like to try and get back into the habit of blogging regularly again. I was tempted to start a new blog. But I was afraid I wouldn't have time for that, and figured it best to just jump on here and start typing. So, here I am.
Now what? Do I try to catch up?
I don't think I have time for that either. It was a rough year for us. We were blessed with our fifth child. Our third girl. She is a wonderful baby (they always are). In two short months she'll be a year old already! I can't even believe it. I will have to think of a blog name for her... I was thinking of giving a new name to all of the kids. Some of them have out grown their names. And as Chatterbox pointed out, they all can be talkative, funny, and ticklish. And I most certainly think they're all sunny. :) If I were to give baby #5 a Little Miss name, I think it would be Little Miss Curious. But aren't all babies curious? Anyway... I'll have to give that some more thought.
So, as I was saying... our fifth baby was born and life was grand. For a few days... then all sorts of bad things started happening. More than I'd like to recount here. So I won't. But I will say that with difficulty, comes growth. And I definitely feel that I've grown. I've grown more confidently in my vocation as a wife and mother. I've grown more in love with my husband. I've grown in my appreciation for what we have. But most importantly, I've grown in my faith. I had to hang onto Jesus with all my might. He helped me get through this year. He was and is my strength. And so, even though this past year was a struggle, I am thankful for it. But I am also ready to move on. :)
Boy, it feels good to get my thoughts out (as short and erratic as they may be!)! I look forward to spending more time here again.

Most recent picture I have already downloaded on the computer.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Independence Day

 What does the Fourth of July look like to us?

Kids wearing red, white and blue and eating watermelon.

Dad's cooking out on the grill.

 Happy kids.

 Kids cooling off from the hot sun by playing with the hose.

 Good, All American food. 
Hamburgers and hot dogs. :)

 American Flag cake. 
We never go without this. Little Miss Chatterbox looks forward to it every year. This year? She made the entire thing by herself from start to finish! It was a jell-o poke cake. She used blue jell-o and added red sprinkles to the cake batter. So even the inside was red, white and blue!

The kids were trying to write their names with them which is why they have such funny expressions on their face. They're concentrating pretty hard. :)

We usually go to my parents house and watch the town's big fireworks from their front yard. That didn't happen this year. So Mike got some fireworks to do at home. This was a big treat for the kids. They had never seen fireworks like this before. I was afraid they'd be disappointed but they loved it! They oohed and awwed and clapped and didn't want it to end. Even Little Miss Sunshine kept saying, "'Nother one, Dad! 'Nother one!". It was a lovely ending to our day.

God Bless America!