Archive for May, 2009

Kara’s T-Ball Practice

Kara has been very excited for her T-Ball season to begin.  Her first game isn’t until a week from tomorrow night, but her coach wanted to have a practice this evening, and she was absolutely delighted!

Kara’s coaches seem to be very nice.  I was impressed with how they worked with the kids tonight.  Many times, T-Ball seems to be kind of a “free for all” in which the kids don’t learn very much, but I think these guys will actually teach their team some things this summer, and that’s great.

I was also very proud of what a big girl Kara is becoming.  She listened to her coaches and tried her very best–what a great kid!

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Yesterday the three middle kids went to a Day Camp sponsored by our local extension service and 4-H.  John was too old to attend, and Kara was too little.  Whenever things like that happen, I try to have fun things for those who stay home.

John had wanted to download a computer game, so I helped him with that.  Then Kara and I put together a puzzle.  We all worked together to make some homemade ice cream–that is always a real treat, and I knew it would be a hit after a long, hot day at Day Camp for the others!

The Day Camp went very well, and all of the kids enjoyed it.  Brock had been kind of hesitant about going thinking that he was a little “big” for such an activity, but he told me afterwards that he was very glad that he had gone and that he had had a lot of fun.  There were games, crafts, food, and water fun–I will post a video at the end of this entry of the kids telling about their camp experiences.

Last night was also Brock’s first practice for his summer baseball team.  He has moved to a new level this year, and I know he will grow a lot in it.  His coach is known to be competitive and tough.  I was a little worried, but Brock isn’t.  He told me that it is just what he expected moving into the new league.  So, he has a great attitude, and I am glad.

Here is the video of the kids telling about Day Camp:

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My Mom is Amazing!

A few weeks ago, we gave John a John MacArthur Study Bible for his birthday.  He wanted a cover for it, so we did some looking on the internet.  We had no luck finding one that was big enough to cover a Bible that is as thick as his is.

My Mom has sewn Bible covers in the past, so we asked her if she would make one for John’s new Bible.  She said she’d do her best, so we showed her some pictures of covers that John liked to give her ideas.  Well, she absolutely nailed it!  The cover she made is exactly what John wanted, and I know it wasn’t easy to make.  I could never make something like this without a pattern, but my Mom figured it out!  Thanks, Mom!  John loves it!

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Our New Additions!

Several weeks ago, John told me that he really wanted to complete the Pets merit badge for Boy Scouts, but didn’t think that his dad would go along with the idea.  I told him to do some research on what kind of pet that he wanted, and then we would all talk about it.

He did what I asked and was very logical about his decision.  He thought that guinea pigs would be his choice, so we talked to Dan about it, and he was very excited about the idea!  John was surprised, but I wasn’t.  Dan is pretty much a soft-hearted kind of guy!  😉  So then we had to do some searching as to where we could get guinea pigs–they’re pretty rare on the Prairie!  Dan did some internet searches in towns between ours and a town that he goes to regularly for his job, and he found just what we were looking for!  This week was his next scheduled trip, and on the way home, he stopped to pick up the stars of John’s merit badge project.

We are told that both of them are girls, but I know how that goes–we HOPE both of them are girls!  😉 The kids chose names for them.  The closest one in the picture is Abilene, and the other one is Snickers.  They’re both pretty shy and scared at this point, but it looks like Abilene is the calmer of the two.  Snickers is pretty hyper!  It will be fun when they get a little tamer.  I had guinea pigs when I was growing up, and they do make pretty nice pets.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Our New Additions!
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A Pretty Girl on a Windy Day

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A Fun Afternoon

We sure had a nice afternoon today.  We took the kids out to the baseball diamonds to play a little ball and to build enthusiasm for the upcoming baseball season.  The kids had such a blast hitting the ball and running around.  Of course, they enjoyed getting each other out too!  😉  Luke was so cute getting all of the balls to throw back to Dan–he just ran all over the place getting those things.

After baseball, we went to the track for a nice family walk and topped off the afternoon with ice cream at Wendy’s.  These are such great times.  I sure do love all of these precious kids!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: May 17, 2009 Family Fun
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I haven’t been very consistent writing entries about what the girls are doing in Caravan, but they have completed a lot of merit badges.  We still have three more to go in this level, so we will continue working on them during the summer.

Our latest badge about birds was really fun.  We looked up a variety of birds on the internet, and the girls really enjoyed hearing the sound samples that are on many sites.  We made a yummy “bird nest” snack with rice crispie treats and jelly beans.  This week we made a couple of projects for the birds using pinecones.  The first was a pinecone feeder using peanut butter and bird seed.  Cosette called the other project a “bird nester.”  It is something we had read about in one of the A Beka readers.  It is basically a pine cone with pieces of yarn stuck into it.  The birds pick out the yarn, and it is fun to find nests with that yarn in them around the neighborhood.  So, we are on the lookout for some pretty, colorful nests!  🙂

Our next badge is about manners, and we are continuing with our cooking lessons.  Those cooking activities are a hit with everyone, but they sure do get hectic sometimes!

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Today we have finished up our school year. It has been a good year, and the kids have all grown and changed a lot.

I have always enjoyed seeing how much the kids learn in the early grades and how excited they are to learn to read and write. Kara has done very well in A Beka Academy K-4. She really did not know even the names of the letters going into K-4, let alone their sounds, but now she reads short vowel and simple long vowel words, can identify all of the letters with their sounds, and can write them all in cursive. She is definitely ready for K-5, and I know she will be reading like crazy by the time she gets through the entire A Beka Academy kindergarten program! Here is a video of Kara demonstrating her new reading skills:

Now I will be getting the final grade reports ready to send in to A Beka Academy and will be boxing up all of this year’s books and papers. With five kids’ stuff to go through, this is not an easy job! It also will add to my boxes to store….. Someday I will have to figure out what I need to keep and what I need to let go or our house will be taken over by old school curriculum! 🙂

My biggest plans for the summer are getting ready for a much-needed garage sale and just enjoying my kids. They are all growing up so fast, and I want to do special activities with them this summer just for fun. Of course, cleaning, cooking, and laundry are regular routines that go on whether we are in school or not!

By the way, my curriculum for next fall already came on the UPS truck yesterday, so I have new boxes waiting to be gone through! It looks like next year will be interesting with some changes. I will write more about that later.

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I made this recipe this week and it was SO GOOD!  It was a lot of work for macaroni and cheese, but it was worth it.  I got the recipe out of a booklet put out by Reynolds called Packet Cooking and More.  This recipe would be perfect for church dinner!  😉

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Every spring our state has a walking/exercise program that encourages teams of four people to walk the same amount of distance as it is across our state in an 8 week period.  Dan and I have participated in this program for several years and enjoy it.

I am happy to report that our team reached (and even passed) the goal.  Our team logged 467 miles, so we were eligible for the prizes.  Each team that completes the program gets a small prize, and then there is a drawing for the grand prize.  This year the grand prize was a Gold’s Gym Stride Trainer 300 elliptical machine.  Believe it or not, I won the drawing!  The kids were all excited!  Kara was jumping up and down!

I admit that I am pretty happy too.  I have been exercising regularly since before Christmas on a stationary bike.  I started out slowly, but have worked up to a pretty good pace for 30 minutes each day.  And, yes, I am loosing weight, although I have a LLOONNNGGG way to go!  I tried out this new machine, and it will be a good addition.  It definitely gives a great workout.  In fact, I can only do it for 5-10 minutes at a time on its easiest setting!  So, I will do with it what I did with the bike and just keep working up my time until I can do a complete 30 minutes on it.  It is one of those machines that has preprogrammed exercise sessions that simulates going up and down hills.  So, I have a challenge ahead of me!

Another great thing about winning this machine:  in 7th, 8th, and 9th grades of A Beka Academy, there is a P.E. requirement.  I don’t know all about it yet, but I do know that logging time with exercise is involved.  John will be in 7th grade this fall, and I should be getting my curriculum in the next few weeks so I will have a better idea of all that is involved.  I do know, though, that having this machine in addition to our treadmill and stationary bike will be a good thing.

About my stationary bike, by the way–it is in desperate shape!  We got it off of freecycle, so we didn’t pay anything for it, but it sure is a rickety old thing!  I have to tighten up the bolts at least once a week just to keep it going.  A nicer unit is definitely on my wish list!

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