Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Princess Tea Party

Our eldest just turned 7! 
She had a fantastic Princess Tea Party hosted by her Meme.
All the girls who attended, were given true princess names. 
Our girls were Princess Elizabeth and Princess Charolette.

The sweetest bunch of birthday princesses!

My little girls.

 Each princess got a chance to serve the "tea."

It was a very big deal to be welcomed at her big sister's party!

Tea Cup Races

The birthday girl

The End of the Day Crash.

Thanking God again today for the blessing of each of our children. 

Ni Hao Yall

Monday, June 20, 2011

Preparing for the Mops 2011-2012 Year with a New Theme

The MOPS International’s 2011-12 Theme is MomSense: Bold • Loving • Sensible 
Equips moms to embrace their mothering instincts and develop their own parenting style while navigating through the myriad of daily mom decisions.
Most women wonder:

*How do I decide what to do when I really don’t know what to do?

*Should I trust my intuition?

*With so much available information, how do I discern what’s best?

*What are the most important family values?

Developing a mothering strategy is somewhat like playing a game — and this year’s theme is appropriately game related. Have fun being a mom! Playing games involves being bold and taking risks, loving those in the game with us and being sensible while figuring out what works and what doesn’t.

Just as in real-life, sometimes in games, unexpected, “chance” events occur, abruptly changing our paths. We must regroup and determine our next steps. Sometimes we follow the instructions of “experts.” Sometimes we follow the advice of trusted friends. Sometimes we decide our “house rules” work best for our family. Teaming together with other moms is a great strategy. Relying on a spouse or mentor can help us play more effectively. And, most of all, developing a strong God-Sense is essential for mothering. Growing as a mom through the analogy of game playing assures every mom gains confidence in her abilities as a mom.

Combining her mom intuition and her common sense helps a woman discover her own unique MomSense. 
(Mom Intuition + Common Sense = MomSense)

Our New Book for the 2011-2012 Year of MOPS! 
This year’s theme book, MomSense: A Common Sense Guide to Confident Mothering, delves further into the topic of finesse, one of the elements introduced in last year’s theme book. Finesse involves being the mom God intended you to be while intentionally loving your children and nurturing their growth. Topics addressed in the book include decision making, mom’s intuition and working through specific parenting dilemmas (“Mama Dramas”). MomSense reminds moms that they are the best mom for their kids and that they can develop contentment and confidence in their roles.
MomSense, Jean Blackmer, 978-0-8007-2022-3
"For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power,
love and self-discipline." -II Timothy 1:7

If you have a child under the age of 6 (this includes babies!) and you could use a little extra support from other moms, look for a MOPS group near you. 
Check it out at

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

TTLL: Summer Plans

Is there anything greater than time with family?

This summer we plan to slow down on the outside activities and just "be" together more.  Thats our plan.  In fact, we've already made good use of our pool and plan to have many days full of wrinkled fingers and toes! 

The children just love when daddy plays along too! 

As we dive into summer, what is one thing you hope to do with your family this summer season?  Any fun plans that you are looking forward to?

To share the link to your TTLL blog post, please leave your link in the comments below!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

AKC Labs on the way!

This is Kinsey, our first baby and
she is currently very, very pregnant! 

Kinsey was born in June of 2003, before we had any "real" children, she was the first addition in our family.  My husband took her to work with him, I let her sleep in my lap... oh yah, she had it good.  Now, she just gets a new kind of love from three small children who think Kinsey is the greatest thing God ever created!   

Kinsey is due to have her second litter of puppies next week!  We are so excited!  We breed her because she has been an amazing dog for us: gentle, protective, quickly obedient, and sweet as all can be.  Because she is now 8 years old and this is her last litter our family will be keeping one of the puppies as well!  We are all very excited for their arrival! But at this point, I think Kinsey is the MOST anxious for the puppies to arrive.  Poor-uncomfortable girl...

Can't wait to share puppy stories and pictures! 

Preparing Our Children for Puppy Birth!
We let our children watch this video in preparing them for what they might see as our dog goes into labor and the puppies are being born.  We didn't want them terrified in the middle of it all! Needles to say, we had lots of education conversation over this video!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Running for God

Just came across this study online.  What an awesome concept!  And fun idea for the summer! 

Run for God
 Run for God The 5K Challenge Student Book

This study can also be used in large groups, the whole kit can be ordered HERE

Run for God The 5K Challenge Instructor Kit

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday Snapshot

JD rides the "tractor" his Daddy had when he was a little boy.  He loves it!  Can you tell?  And he is definitely wearing Daddy's hat too!

AN4 with her best bud K at today's dance photo shoot.  Friends since they were baby-babies!

Sisters getting ready for dance photo day.

Truly loving every stage that our children go through.  Some seem much harder than others but then, the more difficult the stages are, the more rewarding they seem to be as they pass.

Sunday Snapshot

Friday, June 3, 2011

Blog Hop: The "What" in our Homeschool



The "What"

In Our Family Forest Academy we use a variety things to make up our school days.

-Co-op (studies the sciences)
-Field Trips
-Local Museum Classes
-AWANA Bible program
-Dance Classes

Our Book-Work

For 1st Grade, JB6 used:

Alpha Omega's Horizon's Math
Horizons 1st Grade Math Set
Alpha Omega's Horizon's Reading and Phonics
Horizons 1st Grade Phonics & Reading Set

Alpha Omega's Horizons' Spelling  
Horizons 1st Grade Spelling & Vocabulary Set

Alpha Omega's Horizons Penmanship
Horizons 1st Grade Penmanship Set

AWANA's Sparkies Book #2 for Bible lessons, JB6 completed both books and the Frequent Flyer Cards, learning all the books of the Bible along with many verses.  We were very proud of her accomplishments!

Our Outloud Reading choices usually come from the Sonlight reading list, as we love and trust their selections.

We also purchased Alpha Omega's Heath and Physical Education but would have to say that we really didn't use them very often.

For 2nd Grade next year, we plan to use the following:

Reading & Phonics: We have been very please with Alpha Omega's Reading and Phonics program and so we plan to use that again for grade 2.

Math: We have used Horizon's in the past and have been very happy with it.  For this year, we are deciding between Horizons Grade 2 Math and Math-U-See.  So glad to see that Math-U-See has a placement test to find out where to begin! Math-U-See also offers video teaching lessons where Horizons does not. 

Spelling: We will again use Alpha and Omega: Spelling and Vocabulary, Grade 2
Horizons 2nd Grade Spelling & Vocabulary Set

Penmanship: We will use Alpha Omega Penmanship which begins cursive writing. 

For our out-loud reading list, we use this Sonlight Reader List for Grade 2 list to select some of our books; we then either purchase them through Amazon or we will order them through our state's "Books by Mail" program.

History: We are still deciding between Mystery of History and The Story of the World.  Whichever we choose, we will be getting the audio cds so that we can still do school when we need to be on the road!

For Science, both girls use InquisiKids InquisiKids Discover & Do Volume 1 Science with Air, Science in the Kitchen, Science with Plants

AN4 Officially begins Pre-K! Or Kindergarten?
I used to have a difficult time understanding how parents could "not know" which grade their homeschool student was in.  Now, I totally get it.  AN4 has been doing Horizons Kindergarten Math for months now (at a very moderate pace), we've been using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons for reading, and we've been doing The Code Series for writing and phonics.  So technically, we have been doing school for a year already but if we were to put her in a classroom setting, we would not be putting her in officially kindergarten until the fall of 2012.  She is one of those late summer children who are right on the fence.  However we are already doing Kindergarten work with her.  So call it whatever you want!  Age wise, she would be Pre-K but academically, she is Kindergarten... I guess?  

Horizons Kindergarten Math Student Book 1

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons

Get Ready for the Code, Book AGet Set for the CodeGo for the Code, Book CExplode the Code, Book 1Explode the Code, Book 2Explode the Code, Book 3

We have also used School in a Box with both girls as well and love it for an alternative hands-on school day.

There are lots of things we love at as well. 

Bible Flash Cards 
Old Testament /Ancient Egypt History Cards

As well as the Memory Song CDs that accompany these cards... but these are more of a wish list!

Should be another great year!

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