Thursday, May 31, 2012

Homeschooling ideas

I'm starting to think and plan for homeschooling next year.  There are SO many homeschooling curriculums out there, but my goals are to make it fun and make it cheap!  : )  This year will be different, too.  No Bethany : (.  But we'll be adding Isaac : ).  We'll also be starting Kindergarten, which I feel is like the first official year of school.  My memories of elementary school were mostly fun...especially Kindergarten.  We did lots of fun things...centers, painting, singing, etc.  I can still remember it!  This is what I want for Sophie.  In my efforts to accomplish this, I thought a fun language arts idea we could incorporate is picking various children's books, reading them every day for a week, and doing different fun activities associated with those books.  Ok, I must confess.  I kind of got this idea from the curriculum "Five in a Row".  But there were some great books that I had right here at home that I wanted to do this idea with, so I decided to come up with my own activities and books.  I also thought it would be fun to share what I come up with on this blog!  : ) 
I went through our books tonight and just pulled some that I thought would be fun.  I may have to tweak it some, but I think it's an overall good group of books.  Wait...I just realized I didn't pick any Dr. Seuss.  Gotta fix that!  Anyway, I wanted to share my list and if any of you have any feedback, suggestions, or activity ideas to go along with this, I'd love to hear about it.  I've got my work cut out for me, that's for sure, but in the end I think it'll be worth it!  I'm also going to try and post the book and activities that we do each week here on the blog.  Stay tuned! 
Now for the list...
1. From Head to Toe by Eric Carle

2. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

3. My Great-Aunt Arizona by Gloria Houston

4. The Story of Heidi illustrated by Alan Marks

5. The Usborne Book of Poems for Little Children (select some) collected by Sam Taplin

6. Pie in the Sky by Lois Ehlert

7. Toot and Puddle by Holly Hobbie

8. On Noah's Ark by Jan Brett

9. All the Places to Love by Patricia MacLachlan

10. I Love Saturdays y domingos by Alma Flor Ada

11. If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Joffe Numeroff

12. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

13. Grandfather's Journey by Allen Say

14. Beach Party! by Harriet Ziefert and Simms Taback

15. Camping Out by Heather Amery and Stephen Cartwright

16. Starry Safari by Linda Ashman

17. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett

18. Happy Birthday, Moon by Frank Asch

19. The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush by Tomie de Paola

20. Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme Collection (select some)

21. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr/Eric Carle

22. Dinner at the Panda Palace by Stephanie Calmenson

23. Town Mouse Country Mouse by Jan Brett

24. This is the House that Jack Built by Simms Taback

25. Itchy, Itchy Chicken Pox by Grace Maccarone

26. Alphabet City by Stephen T. Johnson

27. Millions of Snowflakes by Mary McKenna Siddals

28. Alligator Baby by Robert Munsch

29. Curious George and the Pizza by Margret/HA Rey

30. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

31. There Was and Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Simms Taback

32. Katie and the Mona Lisa by James Mayhew

33. Cows in the House by Beverly Lewis

34. Clifford Takes a Trip by Norman Bridwell

35. How Big is a Million? by Anna Milbourne and Serena Riglietti

36. Then and Now (Usborne)

I appreciate any input!  Blessings~Stacey

Friday, May 25, 2012

Two months!

 How cute is he?!  I can say that because he's my boy, but I really think the rest of you would agree : ).  This little guy is two months already...really a little over.  I can't believe it!  I remember the time going by fast when my other two were babies, but this seems like light speed.  In some ways...the no-sleep, spit-upping, gassy baby ways...that's a good thing.  But in the this-is-my-last-baby's too fast.  I'm trying to soak it in and maintain my sanity at the same time.  It's a hard balance. 
 I love this look.  He loves to reach out his hands and raise them over his head a lot.  Other things he's doing right now...smiling and some sweet baby cooing.  I LOVE it!  Other things he's doing...still crying a good bit, spitting up a good bit, has lots of gas issues, and still wakes up at least 2-3 times a night.  Those things are tough.  Believe it or not, we have never dealt with most of these issues before.  Our first was a dream baby.  She ate good, she slept through the night at 7 weeks, wasn't too fussy, etc.  Her only issues was some physical delays but she has grown out of most of those.  Boy number one had terrible ear problems his first year of life.  He didn't sleep through the night until he was about a year old...soon after he got ear tubes put in.  It was VERY challenging and I felt so sorry for him.  So each child has been different and we're still learning.  I know one day this too shall pass.  My babies will grow up and I'll wish I could remember these baby days better.  I'm so glad I'm blogging : ).
How are the parents holding up, you ask?  Well, Momma is doing pretty good considering.  I think my biggest challenge is keeping up with the house right now along with nursing the baby all day and through the night.  The laundry alone is enough to make me shudder.  But it's amazing how I've got this surge of momma energy and motivation.  I want to keep going even when I'm tired, keep trying to fold those clothes and put those dishes away.  Praise the Lord.  Supernatural is the only way I can describe this energy I've got because I've never been one to get stoked about housework.  I'm also trying to keep things together in the midst of both big kids about to have surgery (tonsils/adenoids/eartubes) and having a biopsy on this nodule that's growing on my thyroid a week later.  The hubby is also swamped with being the interim children's minister at our church.  It keeps him busy all through the week and sometimes on the weekends.  Let's just say we're really busy right now.
We'd appreciate your prayers!
June 4th: kid's surgery (yes, both of them!)
June 11th: my biopsy
June 28th: Sophie has a consultation about her teeth (needs some pulled)
God bless!

Friday, May 18, 2012


We've kind of been wondering who Seth looks like.

These pictures are of two different kids.
Can you tell who is who?
Ok...I'll tell you.  Because if I didn't already know I probably couldn't tell either.
The top pic is of big brother, Isaac.  Bottom one is of little Sethy.  Amazing, huh? 
I think our boys will look a lot alike...but one will have my hair : ).

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Unforgettable days

 What a week!  It's been filled with craziness, some tears and sadness, and lots of joy.  This was our last week of homeschooling for this year and it is also our last week that Bethany will be with us.  I knew that she would be going to public school next year for a long time now, but it still hasn't sunk in that she won't be with us any more!  Honestly I think I'm trying not to think about it because it'll make me sad.  I'll miss that sweet little thing!  She brings energy and spunk to our little school sessions.  Here are the two girls with their certificates I gave them for doing a good job this year.  I'm just glad that I was able to pick up teaching again after having Seth even though some days were hit and miss.  I would've regretted not getting a little more time with Bethany.  I will also miss the fellowship that Bethany's mom and I had each day as we exchanged children...she'd drop Bethany here and take Isaac to her house.  We had a great set-up.  I'll miss that!
 Last year for our Bible study time during homeschooling we used "The Jesus Storybook Bible", which is awesome.  Bethany enjoyed it so as a parting gift we gave her a copy.  I'm praying it'll continue to impact her and her family.
 Bethany absolutely loves Seth.  If he makes a peep she's right there checking on him.  She always asks if she can hold him.  She's good with him, too.
Speaking of was a special day for him and our family.  Not only was it Mother's Day, but it was also Seth's baby dedication.  Our belief is that we commit as a family to teach Seth about God and how to have salvation through Jesus Christ.  By doing this publicly, we are asking for our friends, family, and church to hold us accountable.  This is always a special occassion and I'm so thankful that several of our family members were able to come and share it with us.
I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to share about the weekend.  I feel like I've had several momma treats since Friday...and I've had my share of crazy moments!  Friday my sweet husband watched all three kiddos for me so that I could have lunch with some of my girlfriends.  It was just what I needed!  These women are fun but also love the Lord and that created some sweet fellowship.  Not to mention that we finally got to eat some Mexican food that was AMAZING!  I basically pigged out.  After I finished lunch the kids and I packed up and headed to my parents house to give the hubby some time to work on some upcoming church events.  I was glad to give him some time and the kids and I had fun going to the "bouncy place", Burger King, and then I was able to go grocery myself!  Woo!  My plan was to do the outings on my own with the kids.  A little ambitious on my part.  I'm glad that my mom and sister went with us. I definitely need the extra sets of hands as I dealt with messy diapers, spit-ups, and potty breaks.  We got in kind of late Saturday and my wonderful man surprised me with a straightened up house and almost all the laundry done!!  I told him he was speaking my language...because that completely ministered to me!  On top of that he gave me a wonderful assortment of Mother's Day treats.  I think I really needed that because today was crazy.  I got to bed late and when I got up I had to feed the baby.  I also needed to bathe him, so I did that and right after I got him dressed he spit up.  But not so much on himself but on our bed...a big puddle.  Note to self...put lots of burp cloths under baby when putting him on your bed.  After that little situation I had to get the other kids up and ready...we were already running late.  I'm running around quickly feeding, dressing, and ironing clothes and I decide to give the baby a little bottle to help push him through the church service...since he was being dedicated.  Well, a few minutes after feeding him...spit up goes all over my pants.  There was even a little puddle at the bottom.  Did I change?  No way.  I wiped that stuff off and kept going.  I wasn't about to change my outfit.  We finally got out the door and it was raining.  Got to church and the umbrella was stuck and I couldn't get the hubby on the phone to help me unload.  He met us outside and we got everyone in but we were late.  Seth cried during the baby dedication but it was ok.  We made it off to go to the place I wanted to eat for lunch...which was about 20-30 mins away.  On the way, little girl needs to go potty.  We weren't fast enough so wetness ensues.  All of her clothes and the car seat.  Fun.  So we have to stop at a clothing store and buy a new outfit and a towel.  By this point I had not even eaten anything and was pretty wiped out.  We finally made it to lunch by about 2.  The food was awesome, so it was worth the craziness.  Then we had a pretty good afternoon even though I had to wash carseat covers.  Thankfully I don't have to be an MIT grad to figure out how to put them back on....some of the ones we had in the past I thought I'd never get back on!  
My mom gave me a card today that had the Superman symbol on it and it talked about being a "supermom".  I laughed and told my mom that I wasn't "supermom" I'm "survivor mom".  I'm surviving with a smile on my face because despite the craziness I'm a blessed woman.
Thanks for reading about my life!
Happy Mother's Day! 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Prize of My Heart

My newest book I received (for free) from Bethany House to review.  This review is my own unbiased, personal opinion.
Prize of my Heart by Lisa Norato

Prize of my Heart is the story of Lorena, a sweet young woman who meets the dashing Brogan Talvis by her father's shipyard one morning.  He's a little flirty and handsome, and instantly Lorena is on her guard.  When she finds out that Brogan is actually the new captain who has been working with her father to get a new ship, Lorena is shocked.  Brogan is equally shocked to find out Lorena is the daughter of the wealthy shipyard owner.  While Brogan's goal is not to start a romance, but to reclaim his long lost son, it's hard to deny the feelings that form between him and the beautiful Lorena.  The story takes a few twists and turns and challenges Brogan to turn to faith in God.

*Sigh* I really wanted to absolutely love this book.  The cover art was beautiful to me, so I had big expectations.  The back of the book sounded just like the kind of Christian fiction that I enjoy.  But I found Prize of My Heart to just be pretty good...not awesome.  Some of the reasons why I didn't love it:
-the characters were a little too flawless....Lorena was beautiful, sweet, full of faith, could bake, was the perfect surrogate mother, etc.  Brogan, while a little more rough around the edges and struggled with his past and faith, was still big, muscular, tan, and handsome.  His flaws weren't really explored and I feel like I missed the part where he was coming into a faith in God.  It was like one minute he was depressed and didn't want anything to do with God and the next all was good. 
-the tension/action in the story fell a little flat.  About mid-way through the book there was a really exciting part.  I was like...yes!  There was danger and deceit and then it was resolved in just a few pages.  It just didn't build up the way it had the potential to.  Then the end of the book had a huge surprise.  It was almost too big for a book ending to me...because it had to be resolved in a short amount of pages.
Overall, this was a good book, but I think it could've been even better.  If you like a nice, Christian fiction novel with likeable characters, this is the book for you.