Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rainy Days Were Made For This

There's no place I'd rather be on a rainy, lazy fall day than home with my kiddos and a good book.

Jenna made pancakes.

Jared cozied up with his favorite Garfiled comics.

Woody cozied up with Jared.

Our school day is finished and we're onto a game of Monoploy.

Doesn't get any better than this :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?

One of the neatest things Jared got for his birthday is his new DSI XL.  He's been having hours of fun distorting pictures of people, making videos and voice recordings while laughing his head off.  He hasn't even played a game on it yet.

After our studies today, while trying to rest my clogged up head, I hear the kids giggling their heads off in Jared's room next door.  I asked them probably 150 times if they could quiet down.  I had just taken some cold meds that gave me that loopy, clouded head feeling.  I did get a little nap in, but after realizing my requests to quiet them down were futile, I gave up.  I decided to see what exactly was so funny.

I come into Jared's room to find both kids on the top bunk of Jared's bunk bed, feet dangling from the edge.  They were holding Jared's DSI and laughing hysterically.  They show me what they've been working on.

Can't you just feel the love between these two siblings?

I'm not sure if the style of their piece is considered "counterpoint" or not.  I will have to ask my friend from The Ray-Mar-kable Libby Kids.  Maybe we can make a music lesson out of it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

9 Years Ago

It's hard to believe it was nine years ago that I was great with child.  It was just following the terrorist attacks of 9/11.  I remember how worried I was that we may be going to war or that more attacks would follow, and here I was getting ready to bring a baby into this world. I had been on bed rest for nearly 3 months after pre-term labor started at a very early stage in my pregnancy.  I had been having contractions from that point on and was bedridden with a terbutaline pump that helped space the contractions apart. 

I remember so clearly the warm summer afternoon that I vacillated on whether or not to call the doctor. I had recently been given the ok to get off the meds and let things happen.  Since I'd been having contractions for months it was nothing out of the ordinary, but they were picking up.  I finally decided to call.  We took Jenna to her Mimi & Poppy's and headed over to the hospital.  I was dilated 3-4 centimeters.  They broke my water, and at 10:29 that night Jared McKade greeted us with his quivering lower lip. He looked sad and scared like he had so rudely been taken out of a really comfortable place and greeted with bright lights and strange people staring at him.

Like this:

One thing's for sure...time has flown by.  I am so thankful that we have been blessed with this boy.  He brings joy to our lives everyday!  Happy 9th Birthday, Jared!

Here's a little "slideshow" of him growing up...

We love you, Jared!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Intruder Alert

There are days (many, many days) when I think my two kids are going to murder each other.  There are days, very few and far between, when they are best buddies.  Then there are days, like today, when they just put up with each other trying to abide by the rules and get along the best they can.

We were out running errands, scrunched up in my husbands little "beep-beep car" (that's our name for a tiny little car).  I hear playful bantering in the back seat and giggles.  Out of my peripheral vision I can see hands back and forth.  Thankfully, they weren't fighting or else I would have one of my temptations to find the nearest telephone pole and put an end to the whole thing.  Instead, I hear:

Jared: Heeyyyyyy! You're in my space bubble!

Jenna: Well! You're in mine! *Giggle, giggle*

My husband asks me about the "space bubbles".  I tell him it's something they came up with to respect each other's space and mark their territory.  It always makes me grin when I hear them "getting into them".

The next thing I hear is:

Jared: come Mommy is allowed in Daddy's space bubble??? (I have my arm around my husband)

Jenna: That's because...they're making SPARKS!!

*Giggle, giggle*

*Fits of laughter*

Oh, to be young again!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Our Vacation

We just got back from our family vacation to Myrtle Beach, SC.  I live for family summer vacations.  I cherish the memories of my own vacations as a kid going to the Outer Banks with my parents & brothers.  So many fun times and great memories.  I guess that's why our vacations now are so important to me. I want my kids to think back on their childhood and get warm fuzzies thinking of all the good times we had together and traditions we carried out.

So, today's writing assignment was to write about our vacation.  Hopefully they won't sue me for publishing their work ;)  By the looks of Jenna's title, it doesn't seem that I'm off to a good start with our warm fuzzy memories!! Ha!

My Not- So- Fabulous Vacation
by Jenna

It all started like this.  I woke up at 4:15am, then we left at 4:30am.  We stopped at Mickey D's for breakfast at 4:45am.  Then we began our expedition to South Carolina.  Jared definitely got on my nerves on the way there.  We had uncrustables for lunch.  We finally got to the Compass Cove Resort.  We had spaghetti for dinner. 

At our hotel there were a lot of pools, hot tubs, lazy rivers, water slides and there was a water park!

We went to play mini golf and Ripley's Aquarium. At the aquarium I pet sting rays and picked up horseshoe crabs.  At mini golf my mom won, my dad was 2nd, I was 3rd and Jared lost.

On Wednesday I cut my toe and went to the ER. I had to be in a wheel chair.  Otherwise, my vacation was great!

My Summer Vacation
by Jared

It all started yesterday.  We had a 6 day vacation to South Carolina.  I can tell you one thing- it was awesome! First of all it took us 8 hours to get there because we took a lot of rest stops.  When we got to the hotel room I was amazed.  I mean, you can't blame me.  It had 2 queen beds, a toaster, an oven, stove, fridge and balcony.  But the outside was really impressive.  It had 11 pools, 3 lazy rivers, 2 water slides, an arcade and a tiki hut.  Not to mention, it was right next door to the beach!

The only bad thing is, Jenna cut her foot on a drain and she needed a wheel chair.  When she got hurt we got free tickets to the Ripley's Aquarium.  It was bad Jenna got hurt but also good, in a way.  I touched 11 sting rays and picked up 3 horseshoe crabs. 

While we were there we played miniature golf at "Minotaur Golf".  It was awesome!

So, if you ever go to South Carolina, Compass Cove (our hotel) is definitely first pick!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Nature Walk

When I was reading up on all the different homeschooling methods I instantly fell in love with the Charlotte Mason approach.  Nature study was a "must" for Charlotte Mason's students.  She encouraged parents of young children to be outsdie 4-6 hours a day, and for children 12+ at least one full afternoon dedicated to outside studies.   I love the idea of getting the kids outside as much as possible, exploring nature by taking nature walks and keeping a journal of your discoveries.

I had this image in my mind of how perfect our first nature walk would be: the kids sharing the same enthusiasm as me, excited to discover new things and record their findings on their new sketchpads with their pretty new colored pencils.  We'd have our field guide and magnifying glasses in hand and ready to identify our treasures...butterflies flitting around here and there, birds chirping...

Our first nature walk didn't go exactly as planned.  Towing around a pre-teen with a "how dumb is this going to be" attitude has a way of squelching any excitement one may have.  The first spot we came to seemed as good as any for her to park her stuff and start drawing.  I encouraged her to explore a little longer than 2 seconds.  I began asking myself, "Ok. What's the point of this again??" Then I remembered. I told the kids to find something that they didn't know the name of or hadn't seen before.

After not speaking to me for half the rest of the walk I think we finally started enjoying ourselves.  Jared found a little creature he wanted to sketch.  It was a small, furry white caterpillar.  He scooped it into his little jar and found a cozy spot by the creek to start drawing.  Jenna and I continued to search for something.  We finally came upon some wild berries.  They were so pretty.  She broke off a bunch and found a tree to climb up in to do her sketching. we were starting to get somewhere.

The next step was for them to identify what they found.  Jared found out that his was a fall webworm caterpillar.  Jenna found out hers were wild pokeberries.

Their next step was to write the name of their discovery in English and Latin. 

We found out many interesting bits of information on the pokeberry.  Though toxic to humans, it has had many uses over time. It just so happens that pokeberries were mentioned in the audio book we're listening to- "Little House in the Big Woods".  Laura's new rag doll was given rosy cheeks and lips using pokeberries. We also found out that pokeberries were used to make ink long ago and it is said that the Declaration of Independence was written with pokeberry ink.  It is also used as a natural dye for yarns.

So, our nature walk turned out to be more than just a boring walk  in the woods!!