Thursday, September 30, 2010

where I've been...

We've been a little weary lately- weathered by the storm.  We'll be back soon, hopefully with good news and new kick in our step.  For now though, we're laying low.  Thanks for your patience!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What I love about you- 15 months!

You are still a total and complete handful (seemingly more so by the day) but you are also getting more and more fun!  These are the things I love about you right now:

Your cheesy grin!  You love smiling for the camera now!

Your silliness- you really like to by sly and funny and see if anyone notices.
One of your big mischievous moves these days is finding the remote!
Yup- you're naked behind that milk jug!  You LOVE taking off your diaper and running away as fast as you can!
Your new-found love of your apron!  You bring it to me all the time so I will put it on you!
Just Cute!
You are enjoying books more.  Now you not only tear them off the shelves but actually sit and look at them for a while!
You have an inherent sweetness behind the whining and mischief!
How badly you wanted to "hunt" with you dad and brother! You were freaking out because you wanted to be in the blind with them so much!  You can't wait to be older!
Sweet love!
You have always wanted to be held, but you are becoming more of an actual cuddler these days.  I love those moments!
You and your brother pick on each other to no end but you also love each other and I catch you snuggling every now and then.  I love how you go around the house calling for him (although you say "mama" you mean his name) if you can't find him and the way you two interact is priceless.  I can see a life-long friendship flourishing and it is incredibly sweet!
You are cutting teeth, sleeping horribly and constantly ransacking our house but I wouldn't trade you for the world!  You give me a total run for my money and I love you to pieces!  

Oh, and you weigh 25.14 lbs and are 33 1/3" long!!  Just 7 inches shorter and 5 pounds lighter than your brother who is three whole years older than you!  It's insane... but I have the most toned arms of my life!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

T-Ball with 4 year olds!

Quite possibly one of the funniest things on the planet!  In fact, if I would have had video of one particular episode, I am pretty sure we would be at least $10,000 richer via Funniest Home Videos and probably could have take home the $300,000 grand prize.

Rhythm is second from the left on the bottom row

You see, Rhythm is a very enthusiastic little guy, who is always very busy and apparently playing for just his own team wasn't enough- he not only hit the ball when he was up to bat, but ran after it and threw it to first base!  He then repeated these actions with the next TWO kids who were up to bat from his own team!  It was hilarious and he was completely delighted with himself!  So funny!

Here are a few of the pics from his games and practices:

Some help from dad!

Whack it!

There he goes!

Up to bat for real- my little bobble-head!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

At the lake...

We have had a few opportunities to spend sometime out at a nearby lake last summer and I just wanted to share some of our pictures from the fun times we had!

The first time we headed out for a local street fair with Nana (my mom) and boy oh boy, was it a busy and HOT day!  We had a really fun time though!  One of the highlights of Rhythm's day was getting a tattoo (airbrushed on)!  He felt like such a stud!

Tough Guy!
We checked out the local sandcastle artist...

And a fountain in the park...

Then, to escape the heat and have a little fun, we dared drag that darned stroller all the way down the steep, gravely beach to go swimming and build some sand castles of our own!

Woo!  A little deeper and colder than expected!

Teamwork- precious and rare!
Check out that booty!  And that is without a diaper!

When we were done at the beach we headed up to another fun little fountain in the park to wash off and get dressed to go.  I love this little fountain- it gives way to a little stream that runs all the way down to the lake and you can walk in it the whole way!  Refreshing and fun!

"Ahh!  It splashed my face!"
Gotta wash those feeties!
And I swear- I really was there, even if I'm not in any of the pictures!  Haha!  Isn't mama always behind the camera?!  It was a great day and just the first of a few that we had out at this little lake town- but I'll save the rest for another post!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tiny Talk Tuesday- September 14, 2010


Rhythm: God is tickling my heart mom!  Now He is tickling you!  Do you know why He tickles you?  Because He loves you!  Do you love God?
Mama: I do!
Rhythm: I love Jesus!


Rhythm: Mom, I just really appreciate that you did that!
Mama: When did you get so old?
Rhythm: On my birthday. Don't you remember?


Rhythm: You Mr. Funny Head!  (Right now he is really into adding "Mr." and "head" to pretty much everything!)

For more goofy kid sayings hop on over to Tiny Talk Tuesday at Not Before 7!

Monday, September 13, 2010

I made the team!!!

I am very excited to let you all know that I made the Heart of the Matter Review Team!  You may have noticed that I posted a couple of reviews recently that were listed as audition posts (All Frogs & Giraffe Copy Work & Fun) and to my great delight I found out shortly there after that I made the cut!

This is so exciting to me for a few reasons: one- we will get to add some really fun new additions to our school days, two- I don't have to plan them, and three- I feel one step closer to getting on The Crew review team when they begin accepting applications in March!

So, you can expect to be seeing a dabbling of reviews each month on great new products that I can't wait to share with all of you!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Preschool Corner- Week 4- Errrrrrrch!

preschool corner
Alright.  We got through our work last week... mostly.  By Thursday I went ahead and had a complete meltdown and came to the dreaded realization that my well-thought-out routine/schedule was just not working!  Every day by about 11:30 all of us are stressed and frustrated.  Lion Cub is inevitably screaming and either climbing up on Rhythm's chair with him or just completely distracting him with his antics, and I am worn so thin that I begin to display a side of myself that makes me cringe to even think about.

So, as much as I hate it, I am going to have to reevaluate.  I think we are going to have to transition into doing things that we can all do together or Rhythm can do independently while Lion Cub is awake and then do the work that he needs my help with once Lion Cub is down for his nap.  As soon as I work out all the bugs to our new routine I will post more about it, but I am hoping this new plan is going to lead to less burn-out and better concentration all the way around.

On the upside, I am very proud that we have made it through our first four weeks of school!!  We have stayed on track and I feel good about where we are headed.  Rhythm is learning much more than I expected and seems to even be enjoying school!

My favorite things that Rhythm learned this week, however, were not planned at all and mostly revolved around hunting!  Jer headed out on a hunting trip last week but before he left he of course had to practice and get all prepared!  to being with he set up his ground blind in the backyard and gave Rhythm a pair of binoculars, which he over course completely loved!!

 Rhythm spent hours in the back yard pretending that he was bow hunting for deer!

I think they both look forward to the day when they can hunt together.


Did you hit it?

"Nice job dad!"

Before Jer left on his trip Rhythm also decided that he wanted to make him a surprise card and he wrote the entire message himself!  Of course I helped with the spelling but he was so proud of his work!

This is the picture of a trailer that he drew for the front of the card.  He wanted it to be a surprise and hid it in Jer's jacket but of course couldn't wait for Jer to find it for himself and spilled the beans as soon as he walked in the door!  It was very cute!

You can find much more inspirational posts about preschool over at Homeschool Creations!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday- Seriously?

Mom!  Someone left the bathroom door open!

Oh yeah- he knows exactly what he's doing!

Giraffe Copywork & Fun-Review

I was blessed recently to receive a copy of Giraffe Copywork and Fun by Homeschool Bits, to review.  This copywork study has 32 pages full of copywork, activities and internet links that thoroughly address grade levels K-5, but could easily be used for younger or older students as well.  Homeschool Bits has a history of making very versatile homeschool tools and this study is no exception.

The first thing that jumped out at me about this copywork study was the wide variety of copywork options that are given.  Some of these options include:
  • Fill in the blanks 
  • Fill in the blanks with traceable letters
  • Traceable printing passages
  • Traceable cursive passages
  • Blank ruled lines for independent copywork
  • Blank standard lines for independent copywork
Each passage offers each of these options, making it quite simple to assign the same copywork to a number of children at different levels, and also gives you the option to use this same study again in later years.  Interspersed throughout the copywork pages are also numerous pictures and clipart of giraffes that help keep the work engaging and interesting.

Rhythm working on a traceable fill in the blank page.
In addition to the copywork being well thought out and put together, the actual information is top notch.  The writing is interesting and the facts are not tedious to read. We have been working on it currently but I am even more excited to break it back out when we do our studies on Africa next year.  It will be a wonderful addition to the curriculum we will be using, but is informative enough to stand alone if you wished for it to as well.

Giraffe Copywork & Fun by Homeschool Bits can be purchased for only $0.50 at CurrClick!  That is a total bargain for a resource that can be used time and again and really helps put the fun back in copywork!  I would highly recommend this product.

Thanks to Heart of the Matter for supplying this unit study for sample review in their reviewer application process.  All opinions are honest and completely my own.

All Frogs Unit Study by Homeschool Bits- Review

We took a little break from our Farm Unit Study this week to tryout a new curriculum by Homeschool Bits called "All Frogs." This study is geared for grades K-5 but I found it very easy to simplify for Rhythm, who is doing Pre-K4.  The curriculum consists of a plethora of elements to create a very well-rounded study, including:
  • Information pages that cover the differences between frogs and toads, 5 different frog species, the life cycle of a frog and more.  These pages also contain pictures and links to frog sounds.
  • 2 different varieties of quiz pages (fill in the blank and multiple choice)
  • Coloring pages (including a frog parts diagram)
  • Activity pages (including a word search, two different levels of mazes and frog jokes)
  • Frog Fact Cards
  • A frog fable mini-book
  • 4 different varieties of copywork (beginning guided printing, guided printing, guided cursive, and standard lines for unguided copywork)
  • Lapbooking Components (very colorful and including extra frog clipart)
  • Links to websites for additional learning about frogs (including information and video sites as well as crafts and even how to draw a cartoon frog).
To say that I was pleased and impressed with this curriculum would be an understatement!  Our first day of reading, in which we read about the differences between Frogs and Toads, Rhythm was able to actually participate in narration for the first time!  I was so delighted by this (I think he was too!).  We have tried before but he generally always responds with "I don't know."  This text, however, was well written and engaging enough for even a typically distracted 4-year-old boy to glean and repeat the facts from.
Lapbook Cover
Inside of lapbook
Flap of Lapbook with trimmed down copywork page
Back of lapbook w/Frog jokes, frog cartoon drawing & maze
I also loved being able to write all of his narration down on the lapbooking components as he dictated to me.  The lapbook comes together so nicely and doesn't have an insane amount of printing to do.  It was very easily customizeable and can easily be used for any grade level.  Rhythm and I both love being able to not only make the lapbook but use it for review- it is so much more engaging than a boring fact sheet or series of notes!
Working on the simple maze
All the links provided have been very helpful and interesting.  Rhythm loved learning how to draw his very own cartoon frog and hearing the frog sounds also really helped to keep him interested in the lessons.  I was also extremely surprised that he was able to complete the simple maze from the activity pages.  The beginning guided copywork pages have been fun for him to try as well, since he is just getting started with writing.  They work well because they only have a few key words to trace, instead of the whole passage, so they aren't too overwhelming for him.

Clearly impressed with himself that he actually did it!
This lesson is also flexible enough to complete over a varied amount of time, depending on what works best for you and the level of your child.  For older students you could finish the study in probably less than a week if you really wanted to, but it also lends itself well to spacing out over a couple of weeks if you only did a component or two a day.  It has been perfect for us to just do a couple of things at the end of our day and has really brought a little bit of extra life to our school day.  I think this study would also work well with a number of children at varying ages.

I think the only thing that I could be critical of was the design of the mini-book, as it did not leave much room for stapling and would not have gone in the correct order if I had assembled it per the instructions.  That is really the only thing I could think of though- the rest of the study we genuinely loved and thought was expertly put together!  I would definitely purchase a study from Homeschool Bits again, hands down.  Oh, and did I mention that this whole study is only $1 at CurrClick!?  Insane, right?!  I couldn't believe that!  I would have paid much more for a study that was this well put together!

Thanks to Heart of the Matter for supplying this unit study for sample review in their reviewer application process.  All opinions are honest and completely my own.