Wednesday, December 21, 2016

White Christmas 2016

Once again a lovely evening filled with amazing set design and delicious food! It has occurred to us that not every family has an annual party where they come dressed as set pieces, scenery, food, etc. Yep, we're weird and we like it that way ;)
The generous host and hostess.

Their talented assistants (Liam's very great contribution being to keep himself happy while everyone else was busy).

"Pine Tree, coming into Pine Tree"

MP at the train station.

"Go to Smith?! She couldn't even spell it."

                            You catch a very quick glimpse of Dad's character on the right in the first scene. Mom thinks mother hen should let the little chick out of the nest.

Jessica's mom was visiting and joined in the fun as mother hen with her little chick. Sorry, for those of you who don't have the movie memorized and can't immediately recognize which scene these lines are from :) We've been all the obvious characters so now we have to get creative with our costumes.

The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing (along with the background scenery).

Scene 1 and the slam bang finish.

Snow, snow, snow!

I couldn't get a camera angle that did the scenery justice. The background was hand painted by Katie and the drum set was all constructed from a variety of items they put together.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Helpful Tips

I came away from the homeschool convention this year with information that has really changed my perspective on a few things, particularly in regards to struggling learners. It's not homeschool specific so I decided to post it in case it helps other moms!

Diane Craft was an excellent speaker and I learned so much about teaching a right brain learner. Right brain kids are big picture, creative, problem solving kind of people. No matter how many times you have them read and write the multiplication tables there is no "glue" to keep that in their brain. So you're just repeating something over and over that isn't working. This was news to me since I thought the only way to memorize something was repeating it either orally or through writing! Right brain kids love pictures and stories and that's what makes facts stick for them. Diane Craft sells multiplication cards on her website that have stories and pictures but you could also make your own.

Here's the link to the ones she sells:

I bought the cards and they really work! Our right brain girly is memorizing the multiplication tables very painlessly! She told me the other day it was too bad everyone couldn't learn math in this fun way.

We also do spelling the same way. When she misspells something we write it on an index card and hang it up for a few days. Here's an example:
This is the name of a friend and she always spelled it with an "F" in the middle. I write the word, putting the letters she gets wrong in color. Then we add a picture that will give her the glue she needs to memorize it. Sophia wears glasses so we turned it into a smiley face with glasses.
This is training her brain to memorize and the idea is that eventually you don't need a picture to remember. We're not there yet, at this point I'm just so happy we have a method that's easy, free and working!
Diane Craft's website has lot's of info:

Another workshop that was really impacting was on the topic of multiple intelligences. Basic idea being that there are 8 types of intelligent. In our culuture word smart people are the ones who are considered smart.They're the kids who do well in school. Everyone else, at best, is considered talented but not smart.
Our daughter that's word smart gets encouragement everyday that we have school because she's good at it and everyone in the family knows she's smart in that way. But what about my girl who's nature smart? Yes, she has to learn to spell even if she's not word smart but I also need to make room for her to flourish in the area that she's intelligent.
The 8 intellegences are:
Music Smart
Body Smart
People Smart
Logic Smart
Word Smart
Self Smart
Picture Smart
Nature Smart
I have a lot of information from the workshop in email format if anyone is interested. It explains each one and gives strengths, weaknesses and job possibilities.

Sunday, July 24, 2016


I think this 3 month review in photos must be my new blogging style.

After the crazy busyness of the spring I wanted the summer to be more relaxed. We don't usually take a summer break from school but this year it seemed like a good idea. We've had lots of fun times this summer! And although time goes fast I don't feel like it's flying by.

 We were ready for church early and it had been a while since we did a picture of the whole line up.

We have a shallow area that's perfect for puddle jumping after a rain storm. I'm not one of those fun moms that lets them get wet and muddy every time it rains, but this was one of the times I said yes.

Grandma gifted our little tribe with some new dress up clothes.

 I had a shopping day with just these three which was a lot of fun. It's always a treat to spend time with just a few of the kids.

 These two are quite a pair.... I think we were experiencing a pirate invasion that day.

 Lots of hours have been spent in the pool! I was very apprehensive at first about the combination of toddlers and a pool. But they have become very confident  and seem to understand that you have to wear a life jacket when you go in the water. I still pray over the pool often but I'm also breathing a lot easier as the summer goes on.

 I finally have one room unpacked and decorated! It gave me a chance to use all those ideas I've been saving on Pinterest :) This is the sewing/school room which is an area that gets a lot of use during the course of a day.

 They're getting bigger. Sniff, sniff. Everyone sat at the table playing Legos one weekend morning which means they're all old enough to enjoy doing the same thing.

 Fresh peach ice cream tastes even better when the peaches come off your own tree. I'm certainly no green thumb but in spite of me we have managed to produce a few things.

I no longer dread sweet corn now that I have people who can help with the husking!

That's the round up!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Where to Begin?

Project 52 seems to be lost in the move. I've decided moving is a lot like childbirth. When you're in the middle of it you vow you'll never do it again. But time must fade the memory because most people do repeat the experience.

In spite of the overwhelming number of boxes we are enjoying the new experiences that this house brings. Plus it's spring time so it's a perfect time for the kids to explore the new surroundings.

Here's a round up of what we've been doing lately.

This little guy LOVES to be outside and sometimes his sisters get him ready to go out.

It always feels good when the clothing beast has been conquered for another season. I've thought that I kept it simple with the kid's clothes. But moving made me realize that we still had way too much. It's easy for it to pile up when it's hand me downs or garage sale finds. It still means a cost of time to manage it all. I created a checklist of a simplified wardrobe and checked off each item as I came across them in storage and then got rid of the rest.

Jeff and Celene head out on a goat buying adventure.
And they were successful. We now have three Boer goats which the girls walk around our yard on a leash, hug, sing to, etc.

This girly has quite a way with small people and small animals. They all love her!

Elise turned three a few weeks ago. She was a high needs one year old, a sweet two year old and now a funny three year old. Just that kind of adorable three year oldness that makes you smile everyday. Like if you ask her what her whole name is she'll tell you "Elise Navidad".

Monday, March 14, 2016

Project 52

                   Photo prompt: What I'm Reading

Fit to Burst is a book I've read over and over. I needed it last week to remind me that if I'm not teaching my kids to be kind and patient even when life is a whirlwind then I'm missing what's most important.
Life was indeed crazy around here. My mom broke her hip, my in-laws were out of town (which meant Jeff was flying solo at the shop) and we were getting our house ready for the realtor to come and take pictures. 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Project 52

Photo prompt: focused
This little person loves tea parties right now!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

These Two Make My Heart Happy

In the beginning this is how the two of them felt about each other....
I remember a drive home from church where they yelled no at each other the whole way home.

 But over time God knit their hearts together.  I can't say what it would be like to have biological twins, but I can't imagine that these two could be any closer. They have their own jokes, favorite things to play together and can always make the other one laugh.
                         Our caseworker often said she couldn't imagine one without the other.
People are always asking if they're twins. I'm starting to think maybe we should just say yes :)