Sunday, February 27, 2011

Adam Turns Five!

(Again, better late than never for this birthday post!)
Adam has the fortunate birthdate of the 2nd of December, but he was due the day after Thanksgiving. So each year, we have started inviting the famliy over for Thanksgiving and celebrating his birthday on the same day. It works out nicely for him - he gets a birthday feast that wouldn't be possible if we waited another week to have his party! And not only does he get a cake but also gets a variety of pies - yum! Of course his favorite part is having his 'friends' (cousins & family)over too - so much excitement for him!

 He loves "heliPocters"!
 The tasty slow-cooked bird was again a success!
 In his new Iron Man mask
And after 3 years of speech therapy, he was finally able to blow out his own candles this year (a difficult task when one couldn't make the 'sh' shape with the lips!) on his airplane cake! This is only one of the steps he's been able to take in this past year. He is finally learning his letters and numbers, can color in the lines and draw his own people, can ride his bike with training wheels and his scooter also, and narrate a pictue story from start to finish (a processing task that has always been hard for him). He is communicating so very much better this year, with full and thought out sentences, improved grammar, and very few speech impetiments left. He is also able to participate physically in play with his peers more so than before as his balance and gross motor skills have caught up.

Such a big year for him! He is such a joy to have around!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Typical School 'Table' Lesson

Around here, about 50% of what we learn is done at the kitchen table. With two school age kiddos and two preschoolers, I try to get as much done in one lump as I can. Jefferson and Reagan can focus better this year but Lincoln is very hard to occupy, as he wants everyones attention. So generally, Reagan works on her phonics workbook, I sit next to her to explain or help as I am also teaching Jefferson spelling (or math or science). In this photo, he is doing the hands-on portion of his spelling lesson, while Lincoln plays with tiles and Reagan finishes her MCP phonics. Adam, thankfully, is at preschool in the a.m.

And in an atypical home school *science* lesson this particular week in November, Jefferson's body decided to react to one of our fermented beverages that I may have kept in the fridge just a tad too long. He has always enjoyed kombucha and never had an allergic reaction to it before so imagine my surprise when his face started to look like I had slapped him silly! Sheesh - the stinking food allergies in this family are gonna kill me...

Daniel Boone's Homestead

My dh discovered another interesting Pennsylvania location for us to explore this fall - the Daniel Boone Homestead. I never knew it was so close to us and I was also thankful that he was willing to take Jefferson and Reagan, considering I was plenty tired in my last trimester of pregnancy (November 11, 2010). For not having studied about him prior to going on this field trip, Jefferson and Reagan were able to learn a ton from the excellent tour guide and people on site.  The rifleman and the blacksmith on site spent quite awhile answering their (and by 'their' I mean my dh's) questions. They learned that the image people have of Daniel Boone is very often inaccurate or biased by different historians. He never wore a coonskin hat (thought it was uncivilized to do so) but rather, a beaverskin hat. Any money that he earned, he usually spent poorly & quickly and didn't care for his 'white' family very well. He even had another family of kids with a native at one point in his life! The visit to this famous frontiersman's original home helped to clear up a lot of these misconceptions created by people and movies. I made Jefferson journal when he got back, because I know that he was able and I wanted him to get down on paper all that was fresh in his mind. But Reagan decided to journal because she was actually interested in all that she learned! Since she has only been working on copywork this year (no other writing) I am always thrilled when she volunteers to write, as it is still a difficult process for her to get thoughts from mind to paper.

May 1, 2011 is Children's Day so visit the website  if you're interested in a very cool field trip! There is plenty to learn and see!

Jefferson's journal:
On my trip to the Daniel Boone Homestead located in Reading, PA I was the spring cellar in the Boone house, saw the horses & sheep, saw the blacksmith shop when he was working, listened to a person tall us about Daniel & had cake & went to the rifle range.  My favorite part was the blacksmitth shop because someone was working it & he told us about it.  I also liked where the person taught us about Daniel. About halfway through his life, Daniel was captured & adopted by Indians. He had a new wife and family. Then he heard about a plan for attack on Boonsburg.  So Daniel went & warned Boonsburg but he was shot in the leg and someone brought him back to the fort to save his life. But Daniel was best known for illegally helping settlers across the gap. Most people think of Daniel Boone as really free-spirited.

Reagan's journal:
We saw the House, the smokehouse, the blacksmith, the sawmill, and a man who taught us about flintlock guns. Daniel Boone was a famous frontiers man who lived from 1734 until the 1790's. And I saw the cellar it had a spring they can use it as a fridge. And they could store food in it so that the food did not get rall [raw - lol!] and so it staes good food to eet. Thay mad lots of things at the blacksmith like nails and horseshoes and lots of other things that are useful. That is what I did on the trip.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lincoln turns THREE!

*This post is sorely, sorely delayed. But such is life around here!

October is not only my favorite month of the year with crisp fall and my wedding anniversary, but also it is the month of our fourth little bear's birthday! As usual, I am shocked at how fast my child is growing and have been surprised by another year of growth.  *sigh*

Lincoln has delighted this past year with his well as dismayed us with it. He started preschool as soon as he turned three -just so that he wouldn't be bored around the house with us! The times when I am focused on lessons with Jefferson and Reagan are the times when we will often find him focused on making trouble or messes. As he approached his third year, he started to show us his strong will and we learned that he could be the sweetest and most helpful boy... if he chooses to do so of his own mind!

His favorite activities include anything related to crafts (painting, drawing with his good fine motor skills, playdough), matchbox cars (this one borders on OCD - no one in the family dares to move even slightly one of his cars once it's set up *his* way), puzzles (again, he has surprised us with his spatial ability), and just plain irritating any of his older siblings by *touching* them repeatedly as they watch tv.  He decided to potty train when he was about 2 1/2, thus saving me 7 months of daipers before the next baby came along (!) and allowing for us to send him to preschool. He got a toddler bed for his birthday (although that has NOT helped him keep from waking up once or twice each night...sigh) that he totally loves and which makes him feel like such a big boy!

I love three years old because he can communicate with us and show us just how doggone excited he was for his party! And here are the photos to prove it....

 (Can you even tell that he ate the bottom part of the cake while I was napping & letting it cool? Thankfully, I saved it with large amounts of black frosting! Such mischief is so typical of little Lincoln!)


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Do!

For those who don't know me or chat with me on face*book, here's a look at my latest hairdo. I generally have the urge when I am pregnant with a girl baby (not that I knew the baby was a girl but I suspected) to drastically chop my hair. I always regret it and know that the new style won't last long but at least I enjoy the new do for a little while.  This time I had been eyeballing the more sculpted looking 'bobs' out there now - you know.... the ones that angle up from chin up toward the back of the neck? So that's what I tried for. And I do so like it - it takes less time to dry & iron and stays in place easily! But we'll see how long it lasts with the baby around!

(Hmmm - can't figure out why this is rotated! Grrr...)


Our New Favorite PE Activity

This year has been the year of the roller skates in this house! Jefferson discovered through a friend's birthday party last year that he loves to roller skate and the rest of us have discovered it as well. He & Reagan have gotten quite good at it and dh takes Adam along with his whining, as well. Jefferson's 9th birthday party was at the rink and we try to get them there at least once a month for the christian skate nights.

Ahhhh yes - so much fun for such a small price!