Sunday, June 29, 2014

Answer Me This...Buses, Bees, and Roller Coasters




1. How often do you take public transportation?



Ummm.....never. We live out in the country, so no public transportation for me. I guess I could hop on a cow and ride it to town.
When I lived in New York, I took the bus or train all the time. It's the only way to get around in NYC.


2. How many cousins do you have?

I have 7. There are 6 girls and 1 boy. The first 5 of us girls were born with 4 years of each other. We grew up together. We were always together. It was like having 4 sisters.


3. Have you ever fired a gun?

Yes, I have if a BB Gun counts. My kids have the Red Rider BB Gun, so I shoot with them sometimes. You know you just thought about A Christmas Story with little Ralphie. "You'll shoot your eye out!"


4. Do you ride roller coasters?

Sometimes, I rode the kiddie one at Dutch Wonderland recently with my kids.



I don't usually because they trigger migraines for me. The last thing I want to do is cause a migraine to come on and ruin everyone's day.


5. What's your favorite flower?

I love the Calla Lily! My goal is to add them to our flower garden next year along with an Iris bed.




6. Are you allergic to anything?

Bees

source~ wikipedia


and Gluten......so no wheat, rye, or barley for me.



Linking up with Kendra at Catholic All Year

Friday, June 27, 2014

How I Homeschool~ In Which I Interview Myself




I'm linking up with Micaela over at California to Korea in her How I Homeschool Series and blog link-up.
I am excited to be linking up since it's my goal to blog more about what we are doing in our homeschool journey this year.

So here goes!

How long have you been homeschooling?

We officially started when my son was 3, almost 4. We had him signed up for preschool and then changed our minds. I started working with him at home since he was reading and eager to learn. Because of his late birthday, he wasn't ready for kindergarten for another year, so we continued to work with him. By the time it came around for him to start school officially, he was ahead and the last thing I wanted to do was send him to school where he would be bored. We all know how bored little boys behave. It would have been a DISASTER! So homeschooling came into our radar. Before that I was under the impression, homeschoolers were weird.
So officially this is 7th year, unofficially our 8th.




How many kids do you have?

I have 2 children. A son in 6th grade and a daughter in 4th grade.


What laws are in your state regarding homeschooling? How do you meet them?

VA doesn't require too much from homeschooling parents. We have to file our notice of intent and show proof of progress every year. You can show your progress by either supplying them with CAT tests scores or by having a portfolio reviewed by a licensed teacher. We choose to do the test. It's simple to do and we order it from Seton.

If you could summarize your homeschool philosophy in one sentences or mission statement, what would it be?

Instill a love of learning and provide my children with a strong faith. If a child knows how to read and tries to discover new things, then their learning will never end. Having a strong faith will help guide them through life during the good and bad times, especially during the rough times.

What is your homeschooling style?

We follow a Charlotte Mason, Classical, and hands on approach. It varies sometimes. I'm willing to change things if they are not working. What works well for one child may not work well for another.



Do you follow any homeschool curriculum?

Over the years, we have tried lots of  "curriculums" like Seton, CHC, All About Spelling, Saxon, MUS, Story for the World, etc. Anything we didn't like I scrapped.

The first 5 years I created my own lessons. We used the library, unit studies, lap books, and crafts. We learned the basics but then threw in subjects that the kids wanted to learn about. I didn't feel like for K, 1st, or 2nd grade I really didn't a set curriculum.

Two years ago, I discovered Mater Amabilis. We loosely followed it. I took aspects of it that I liked and added them to our lessons. We followed their religion and science. We tried the Mater Amabilis history, but my kids found it boring. We then tried Story of the World, but I wanted something more Catholic.

For the past 2 years, we have used CCM. We joined a co-op that uses the program. I took the weekly topics and added more to them. We continued using the religion suggestions from Mater Amabilis on top of the CCM religion.  With CCM, it's very easy to add to it. We can make it fit our needs. I prefer not to have too much laid out for me. I like to create my own lessons.

Next year, we will be using a combination again. We won't be using Mater Amabilis next year. We will continue with CCM, but will be adding Mother Of Divine Grace. With my son heading into 6th grade next year, we have started to look into higher learning. Our plan is to enroll him in MODG for high school. So next year, we are following the CCM weekly lessons but adding recommendations from MODG for English, Spelling, History(additional reading), and Latin. We'll be using All About Spelling for my daughter.

For math, we have used Saxon in the past, but we are switching to Math U See this year. I still like Saxon, but it just wasn't working for us right now. We may switch back to it when we get to high school.
I don't want to add anymore gray hairs to my head.


What do your best homeschooling moments look like?

My best moments are when my kids whip out information that they have learned. It makes me proud (and relieved) to hear them remember stuff they learned. I think the best homeschooling moment for me was when my daughter finally caught on to the reading thing! The pride in her face and the sense of accomplishment she had was priceless. Nothing beats seeing their faces light up when they have mastered a new task. I love days when the kids are happy, eager, and full of smiles.




What do your worst homeschooling moments look like?

Our worst days include frustration, shouting, tears, feelings of failure. Days when school work isn't done until 5:00 and we started at 8:00. This is one reason why we are switching math this year. When we have days like that, it's time to take a step back and reevaluate. Sometimes you just need a break.

One thing I am trying for next year is taking a Sabbath week. We will do school for 6 weeks and then take a week off. A dear friend sent me a link to a blog about taking a Sabbath week. The mom, from the blog, talked about how God took the seventh day for rest and how she discovered they needed the same break in their schooling. During our Sabbath week, we will straighten up the house (not much fun), take field trips, and just have fun!

How do you keep any non homeschooling children busy?
Unfortunately, I don't have that problem. When I first started homeschooling my son, my daughter was only 2. She wanted to do what he was doing, so I gave her coloring pages of the letters. She practiced using scissors and glue during art. Thankfully, she only cut her hair twice.  She did puzzles, played with play doh, and her toys. One toy that she played with a lot while I taught her brother was her My First Dollhouse from Fisher Price. She LOVED that thing!




If you could give homeschooling advice to a new mom starting out, what would it be?

Don't try to do school at home, so much of learning takes place outside the classroom.
Love them. Encourage them.
Don't get caught up in what others are doing. Don't compare yourself or your children.
There is no right way to do things.
Most important be willing to change if something isn't working.



A Day in Our Homeschool

Monday, June 23, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday



As I look out my window...
The sky is dark and gray. It doesn't look like the sun will make an appearance today. Hopefully it will later.

Right now I am...
I am enjoying a cup of coffee, while listening to Mama cat play around in a box and Baby kitty dump her food off the counter. It seems like the cats are in rare for today.

I am thankful for....
My kids. They keep me focused and grounded when things in life are hectic and out of control. I am blessed to have them.

What I am reading....
I am currently reading Balancing It All by Candace Cameron Bure.





 and
The Domestic Church: Room by Room A Study Guide for Mothers by Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle.




What I am listening to...
I am currently listening to various Cd's that belonged to my late grandfather. They're songs of the Big Band Era. I love listening to the old songs. They remind me of him. It's only been a few months since he passed and I miss him. Listening to the songs makes me feel close to him. I can picture him and grandmother dancing together.

What I am working on....
I am turning 3 of Princess P's outgrown dresses in to skirts for her to wear.

What's on the menu this week...
Sunday~ Hamburgers, Gluten Free Pasta Salads, Green Beans
Monday~ Spaghetti with Gluten Free Turkey Meatballs
Tuesday~ Unbelievable Chicken, Homemade Fries, and Corn
Wednesday~ Baked Pork Chops, Scalloped Potatoes, Green Beans
Thursday~ Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs, Potato Salad, Peas
Friday~ Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Lima Beans
Saturday~ Honey Mustard Chicken, Roasted Potatoes, Broccoli

Captured....


A sweet baby.




Linking up with....The Littlest Way and Happy Homemaker Monday

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Answer Me This...swimsuits and dishes


1. When is the last time you got a  new bathing suit?

I actually bought a new one last year for our vacation to the Smoky Mountains. I got this one on clearance at Lands End.


I love this suit


I really like the blue and mint green. The matching skirt is so cute.


2. Who made the last incoming call on your phone?
On my cell phone it was my mom, but on the house phone is was some number from Mississippi..probably a telemarketer. I never answer the phone for numbers I don't know. I really, REALLY despise telemarketers. Even if you add you number to the DO NOT CALL list, they still do and they always call at the worst times. 


3. If you receive communion, do you receive in the hands or on the tongue?

Growing up I was taught to receive on the tongue. During my high school years I started receiving in the hands. I just started receiving again, after a year of not receiving because of being diagnosed with Celiacs. I currently receive in the hand just out of habit. I have been praying about it and am making the switch back to the tongue. 


4. Do you have a tattoo?

Nope, never. I never really liked them. I did almost get one, mainly because everyone else was getting one. I decided against a tattoo, but got my belly button pierced instead (which I no longer have).


5. How many dinner plates do you have in you house?

I have 12 of the Pfaltzgraff Tea Rose pattern. We bought these when we were engaged at the local outlet mall. The plates have lasted, but we are down to 3 matching bowls.


In my china cabinet, I have Noritake Rothschild 5-Piece Place Setting.
They were received as wedding gifts. We have 12 place settings. I will admit, we rarely use them. They look pretty in the cabinet though.

6.Do you have an accent?

Yes and no. It depends who I am talking to. When I moved here, some of my words still had a New York sound to them. Now I think I have a more southern sound, especially to northerners.



Linking up with Kendra at Catholic All Year



Friday, June 13, 2014

A Visit to Dutch Wonderland

While visiting my parents, we were able to head north to Pennsylvania and have fun at Dutch Wonderland. 



We had taken the kids awhile ago, when they were 4 and under, so they barely remembered it. In fact, I doubt they remembered it much at all, Princess P was only 1 the first time we went. A few things had changed and since they were a LOT bigger, they were able to ride the "big" kid rides.

We feed the fish as we walked over the floating bridge. These fish our huge!


They got to climb in a carriage and pretend to be Amish. There is a little display in the park about the Amish and you will see Amish on the back roads. They have such beautiful farms and I love how they take so much pride in their homes. The flowers are just breathtaking on their porches and in their yards. 


Bumper cars were a hit! Princess P was a little upset since she couldn't drive her own car. Last year in Dollywood, she was allowed to drive her own car. Different place, different rules. They had fun bumping into others. One little girl about Princess P's age just couldn't get the hang of it. She kept going around and around in the same spot. The only time she would move forward was if someone bumped her. She gave her mom and us a good laugh. I'm sure she was dizzy after the ride ended...poor thing.




We got to see the newly opened Exploration Island. The dinosaurs were cute and moved their heads and tails. Lego Man would have loved this when he was two and could name EVERY dinosaur. He liked looking at the dinosaurs, but sadly I think he is heading into being too "old" for somethings.


I think this is a great addition for little boys who LOVE dinosaurs! If you have a little man who is all about dinosaurs I would check it out!




The kids were tall enough for a roller coaster. They tried to ride one last year at Dollywood, but backed out at the last minute. The roller coaster at Dutch Wonderland is perfect for kids that are between adult rides and the kiddie rides. It's larger than a kiddie coaster but not too large that it scares them to death.
 They loved the coaster and rode it 6 times!


Maybe they will be adventurous the next time we head to a park and ride a bigger roller coaster.

They had fun and enjoyed themselves. Sadly, I think this was our last year there. They kids are just too tall for most of the rides. They must be getting those tall jeans from daddy! 


{pretty, happy, funny, real}

~Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life~
Every Thursday at Like Mother, Like Daughter


round button chicken


{pretty}


While visiting the grandparents, we walked along the promenade down by the river and watched the boats sailing along. I love how the clouds and river look.
Growing up near a river was pretty amazing as a child. We went boating every summer. Watching the boats come in out of the harbor brings back so many wonderful memories.





{happy}


Searching for seashells. For two kids, who have never really been to the beach, finding seashells along the shore is pretty amazing and fun. They had pocket fulls by the time we left the little beach area.




{funny}

I don't have a picture of this. I was too busy wiping the alpaca spit off of Princess P's face. While happily feeding an adorable black and white alpaca decided to sneeze/spit on Princess P. She was covered...face hair, dress, you name it. It was gross and smelled really bad. Afterwards, she walked by the alpaca and told him that he wasn't very nice.
I had to chuckle, because he gave her a look like "I don't care!"



{real}



Wow! June is already here and almost half way over. It's been awhile since I blogged. We have been busy, busy, busy! We have been finishing up school, planting the garden, visiting grandparents, and getting ready for summer by replacing the liner of our pool. We are finally ready to relax and enjoy the summer months. We will still be doing math and we will do science in July. Everyday is a learning day. We tend to school year round here. The kids will read everyday, continue with math, spelling, writing, and science.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Trip to the Zoo..thankfully before the downpour of rain!

I know...it has been a long, long, long time since I posted. We have been busy finishing up school and I have been busy planning for next year! I am almost done planning for next year..yeah!!!

We took a short break from finishing school and headed up to visit the grandparents. I think we all needed a little break. While there, we a local animal park/zoo. It was wonderful! It's was a small zoo, but had a wide variety of animals. The staff was very friendly and answered all the kids questions.

We saw barn owls....



Donkeys, llamas, and alpacas...



Tigers...


European brown bear cubs. These two cuties were only 17 months old and weighed over 200 pounds already. The zoo rescued their mother and found out after they had her that she was pregnant. So cute!


Lego Man and Princess P feeding the deer. Later on in the day, they would be feeding the alpacas and have one of them spit on them. Chewed up llama food STINKS!



Lots and lots of peacocks. They were roaming all over the place. They were loud! The male peacocks were trying to impress the ladies with their beautiful feathers.


Mountain lions...


And even a giraffe named Jimmy.



Thank for stopping by!

Blessings,
Monique

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