Friday, October 29, 2010

Getting Ready For Baby: 39 weeks: The Final Count Down

Ahhhh, the home stretch. I can not believe that we are here at last. What a long journey it has been to get to this point. But we are here and it is surreal, precious, exciting, and painful.

Surreal: Seriously??? We are having a baby?? There are many mornings I wake up and don't "feel" pregnant as I lay there still next to Trent. That is until I try to roll over :)

Precious: What is more precious then a brand new baby straight from God's arms to ours?? There is no greater blessing, not in my book anyways.

Exciting: We have waited for this moment for what seems like ions and ions. And we CAN. NOT. WAIT to meet our daughter and to give the boys a sister!

Painful: Besides the normal physical pain of carrying around another human being inside of you for 9 months, it has been an emotional time as well.

This Sunday, after Trick or Treating, Trent and I will head down to the hospital to start my induction. I should have her sometime Monday afternoon. That is the plan as long as little PJ decides to stay put between then and now, and I have a feeling that she is rather comfortable where she is at.

Grandma Candace and Nana will stay with the boys while we are in the hospital. The boys are a little apprehensive of us leaving, but I think that when the time comes they will be ok. They will probably be so excited to look through all their Halloween candy that they won't even notice us slip out. Or at least that is my prayer :)

We can't wait to meet you little Lady!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Magic Whooloween 2010

One of our favorite annual traditions at Halloween time is to go to Magic Whooloween at Penitentiary Glen. It is a family, kid friendly night were the kids can do a Halloween craft,
listen to stories around a campfire
, go on a night nature hike
, see the rescued animals in their shelters,

learn different facts about animals
have donuts and hot chocolate and the main reason we ride the little steamer trains through the not so spooky forest.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Apple Picking

Every year we have wanted to go apple picking but haven't gotten around to doing so. This year we made out way out to Eddy's Orchard and picked apples to our hearts content.

It was such a nice Fall day, cool, crisp air, slightly overcast with a mix of brilliant blue skies and warm sun rays.

It was so relaxing, not busy at all with crowds of people, and just a great family outing. Not to mention that we never want to buy apples at the grocery store again!!!

Wow, it is amazing the difference FRESH off the tree apples taste!

I think we all ate about 3 apples in our 30+ minutes that we picked, they are that good!
We will definitely be apple picking in the future. In fact we had to tell Tommy we would go back as soon as we ate all 18lbs of apples that we picked.
Which will probably be next week :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Spooktacular Halloween 2010

We usually have a Halloween party each year but this year because of everything going on we opted more for a Halloween "playdate" with 3 of our friends instead. The season of slow, remember :)

Charlie was very involved in the "planning". He wanted things SCARY and creepy. Gone are the "cutesy" Halloweens for this boy...I think. So skeletons and graveyards are now part of our decor.

He wanted a pumpkin hunt but settled for "skeleton bone" hunt (dog bones)
and Daddy threw together a scary graveyard. The graveyard had a walkway (boards for the kids to balance on) and they had to try and walk through the graveyard without falling into the graves. Tommy LOVED this and did it over and over again.

We kept it simple and let the kids play, ate Halloween donuts from Pattersons, apple cider and ghost covered lollies as a going home treat (per Charlie's request). We opted not to wear costumes but scary Halloween shirts.

Charlie and Tommy had a great time with a few of their friends. It was a nice afternoon and reminded me that it doesn't take much to make things special for little ones. I am so happy that Charlie had a part in planning everything, he was really proud of himself. The only thing he complained about was that none of his friends wanted to play chase the skeleton, they all thought it was too scary :) Our boy is growing up!

Homeshool: Kindergarten week 7

The boys raking leaves in the back
Today is only Monday, but I can't let the day go by and not jot down some notes. If ALL days were like today, we would surely be living in School Heaven! Hands down this was our best day of school ever!

The boys and Miss S. all got a long beautifully. There was little or no bickering and lots of team work. We accomplished A LOT and had LOTS of fun doing it.

Honestly, if I can squeeze even one more day like today out of this week then we will be at least 3 weeks ahead in Charlie's curriculum and we won't have to do any school work right after baby comes. Even though I plan on doing some work with him during that time, it will be a relief to know that he won't fall behind if we don't get to his lessons for a week or two.

Charlie has really been working on his handwriting and spacing of his words. Just recently we started having him write not only his first name, but his last name as well on all his worksheets. Within 2 days he could spell his last name from memory.

One area that I know we need to work on is Charlie memorizing his phone number and being more confident in knowing his address. He knows his address but needs lots of reminders or questioning to recite it. I want him to be able to write and say both of these important pieces of information and do it without hesitation. I think I am going to make up a daily sheet that he needs to fill out with this information to practice reciting it and his writing.

This week Charlie worked on the sounds /u/, /ch/,/y/,/sh/, and /aw/ in phonics. He reviewed many lower and uppercase letters. One of them being the lowercase letter "q". He also learned that q is always followed by the letter u, and that they are called "glue letters" because they don't like to be alone. He is starting to learn different rules like this and is doing well remembering them.

He also continued to finger stretch out words, divide words by syllables, made complete sentences and learned about sound subtraction.

Charlie continues to be ahead in math. In the curriculum they have moved away from identifying shapes (thank goodness!!) and now have him counting to 10, which is still far below his skill level. I am supplementing his math curriculum with Singapore Math and other fun ideas that I find. I have also started to teach him how to tell time to the hour. He uses his Kumon book for practice. We are also moving on to the value of money. I plan on talking with his "teacher" from K12 and see about moving him up a bit in the math program. I think at this point it is needed.

We also had lots of fun this week since Halloween is right around the corner! For science we started to learn about our bodies and our skeletons. I choose this lesson to coincide with Halloween. Charlie did a
skeleton dot to dot,
worksheet, we watched a video/song on youtube about bones, and made a skeleton art project out of pasta noodles.

We all had fun making our skeleton!

We learned about joints and bones and why they are important to our bodies.

We also bought some different pumpkins at the store and Grandpa brought us some pretty cool gourds that we dissected and compared the insides. We then painted with the pumpkins and some apples.
Charlie colored and wrote in a pumpkin life cycle book that I made for him to complete, and practiced his handwriting in another Halloween book.
We also watched a pumpkin story on and made a cute little foam pumpkin that Miss S. gave to us for Halloween.

The kids also made these fun monster cupcakes out of snowballs and candy.
and then had fun eating them

We read the book Five Little Pumpkins

and pulled out our felt board and Five Little Pumpkins felt set that I made last year. The boys loved playing with it and we have read it a bunch of times during the week.

Charlie also made a replica of the Empire State Building out Legos. He got his hands on the Lego Holiday catalog (thank you Suzi :) and hasn't put it down since. There is a HUGE set for the Empire State Building that he wanted but it cost BIG bucks, so he opted to build his own. I just love how creative he is!

It was a nice week, we accomplished a lot. I am happy with Charlie's progress at this time and feel comfortable taking the next 1-2 weeks off of our daily routine after baby comes.

Homeschool: Week 6 Kindergarten/Preschool

The week is over and I don't know where it went. I literally did not take one picture of what we did, which was not much. Charlie did the basics on Monday and Wednesday and Tommy did a bit of school on Monday as well.

I know that we got a lot done around the house and made final preparations for baby sister come. We bought a new dryer after going to like 10 different stores, more like 3, but it literally took up a whole day and part of an evening to finally get it figured out.

The boys were able to play with some friends when I had my doctor's appointment on Tuesday and with Nana for most of the day on Thursday.

Today my Dad came for a visit (hooray!!) we got some business done, ran an errand and then met Trent for lunch. Grandpa brought us pumpkins, some cool looking gourds, cornstalks and another decorative plant...what is that again Dad?? It was so nice to see him (YOU!) and the boys were more then excited and talked a mile a minute and couldn't get enough of him. I think that by the time he left he was ready to head back to some peace and quiet in the country :)

Tomorrow, Charlie and Daddy have their monthly class at the Natural History Museum which is on spiders. Charlie has really been looking forward to it. Tommy and I are going to take it easy and probably stick close to home (between having more false labor and blood sugar level drama, I am not going far these days). I would love to do a spider craft with Charlie to go with his class.

And if the weather cooperates tomorrow night then we are going to Magical Whooloween,
which is a fun Halloween family event an our local Metroparks. The highlight is riding the little steam train through the not so spooky forest that is decorated with carved pumpkins. I don't get to ride this year though :(

I think that over the weekend and next week we are going to process the 18lbs of apples we picked last week. Some apple sauce and pumpkins pies are on the menu. Carve our pumpkins and do a bit of dissecting, weighing and exploring the inside and life cycle of pumpkins. I hope to do about 10 phonics and math lessons with Charlie, 1-2 Science lessons with both boys and read a bunch of Charlie's LA stories. Not to ambitious or anything :) That is my goal anyways. We will see what we get done and if Lady Lydic holds off for a few more days.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010