Monday, August 31, 2009

What gets you moving?

If you read my previous post, you'll remember that I created a schedule (well, most of it, still have a few parts of the day to work on). I am so tickled that I am still doing it! I'll be honest, schedules have always been hard for me. I have always been a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of gal. One quote kept coming to me, several times in the span of a week or so. It was by Elisabeth Elliot--"Do the next thing." God really spoke to me that I was wasting too much time because I didn't know what the next thing was. The schedule is helping me know what that next thing is!

Last week we pretty much did our schedule until about 2 pm! Praise God!

I love worship music, rarely listen to anything not Christian. I have about 17 songs that I work out to on my ipod*. I go through about 5 or 6 in one session. I know I'm going to need a bigger repertoire! My question for you--what's your favorite exercise or work music? Any songs that just get you moving?

I think I forgot to tell you about my new ipod. My amazing husband surprised me with a new one (after I lost my pink one! It made it all the way to OH and back and THEN disappeared!). He had it engraved for me! What a sweetheart! If you're reading this, honey, I love you!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

More summertime fun

We started our year about 6 weeks or so ago. We have been doing well at it, still tweaking it, but don't we do that all the time! So far we are enjoying our choice of topics and books.

I've started a schedule using Managers of Their Home. I have most of our school time accounted for, just waiting on a couple of books to come in. I have implemented the first 3 hours of the day and it's getting easier. I'm hoping to extend it more this week. I've done from 5:30 am - 8:30 am (quiet time, EXERCISE!, sort and fold laundry, computer time, breakfast, and morning chores for the kids while I shower!). I am feeling like I'm accomplishing so much more in those 3 hours than I did all day before!

I also incorporated some items into a "circle time" structure...we're still working on that. We still need a name for it, as the boys say "circle time" sounds like Kindergarten--any ideas? It consists of many of those subjects I wanted to do, but often pushed til last and then never got to (got any of those?)--poetry, memorization, today in history, oh and Biblical Art of the Day. It's pretty neat, I have it linked to my dashboard (Mac) and it brings up a new piece everyday. When you go to the site, it shows where it came from in bible (cool way to incorporate even more of God's word in our studies!). We're also doing Draw the Proverbs and we are reading Wisdom and the Millers (about Proverbs). A big goal for me this year was to focus on God's word in our school time. For so long, I have skimmed over it, but now I want it to be the main goal in their education. If they don't know and love and fear God, I have not succeeded...

Amidst all this, the kids are still enjoying some downtime and summer fun.

Playing dress-up, not sure what style they're going for...

Want to play a game of I Spy? What do you spy in this picture?
I'll give you a hint: it's white.

Having some fun pool time! Dad is so wonderful to take the kids in the pool in the evenings so I can get some downtime and maybe some work done. What an amazing husband!

Speaking of--here's my sweet husband!

Don't you love the hairdo?

This poor hummingbird was trapped in our garage yesterday, so J used his insect net to capture it and we put it in the butterfly pavillion to feed it. (the red you see is the nectar mix).

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Planning for 2009-2010 (Part 2)

Now that I have plans in place for 2009-2010, I am devouring all the sites and books I can find on Charlotte Mason, nature studies, homemaking, and drawing closer to God . I thought I'd share some of the books I'm reading and websites that I'm stalking following and ebooks I've downloaded in this quest. I have found some wonderful books and unit studies and ebooks and nature journals.... WOW! The list goes on and on. I tried to pick some of my favorites. It feels good when your books and sites seem to form an unending circle, they all seem to end up related to one another somehow. It gives you the feeling that God is smiling down at you encouraging you that you are going in the right direction. What a feeling!

I hope you enjoy searching these books and sites. I remember feeling so overwhelmed the first year I tried to incorporate bits and pieces of Charlotte Mason. I was barely dipping my big toe at the time. This year I am ready to DIVE in! I wish I had seen some of these sites early on in my search for simplicity, Charlotte Mason, and a closer walk with God. I hope you're as blessed as I am through these books/sites. (I'm giving links--just remember to COME BACK!)


A Sane Woman's Guide to Raising a Large Family by Mary Ostyn (This link makes it in both this section and the websites.)

Handbook of Nature Study by Amanda Comstock (pretty much every CM site/book talks about this book!)


Living a Blessed Life --God has blessed me with Amy, one of my dearest friends. She has a wonderful heart for God and His people. Her blog never ceases to hit it's mark on where God is working in my life!

Owlhaven (Mary Ostyn)

The Pioneer Woman (Great recipes and homemaking, photography, homeschooling, and even some giveaways!)

Copper's Wife and Preschoolers and Peace (on Mondays they review curriculum for different subjects, very CM!)

Katie's Homeschool Cottage (This is where I got our CM insect study.)


Insects: A Unit Study using the Charlotte Mason Method and More (fantastic list of CM books and videos on insects)

Ourdoor Hour Challenges: Nature Study Close to Home (great ideas and easy "worksheet" style nature journal pages to get you started)

Eric Carle bundle (by Grace Bound Books, bought at Currclick)

PS...this post has been saved as a draft since June!  I just noticed it and decided it might be time to publish it!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Ta da--The sunroom is finished!

I can't believe it's basically done.  We've been waiting all summer and it is now useable!  There's a few odds and ends to do like finish the fireplace, decorate, and we haven't touched the half bath at all.

Here it is--the finished sunroom!

The next 2 pictures are from "my" spot on the sofa.  Mama always gets the corner spot!  This is where I hope to spend many snuggly Saturday mornings with the kids, drinking coffee, reading books to them....  (I'm also hoping to spend lots of quiet reading time there too!)

And this is Baba's reaction!  He hasn't seen it in any of the final stage.  He LOVES it!