Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Picture Parade: Collaboration

Practicing their reading and geography skills.  I now consider the price of the map to be money well-spent!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Picture Parade: Horse With No Name

Our oldest son, Scott, playing Horse With No Name - for real this time.

Picture Parade: Birthday Poker Winnings

Boy did I clean up - I doubled my money!   Thanks, everybody, for a wonderful birthday!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Picture Parade: Cashing In

The twins were so cute today . . . we had two boxes full of change, and our credit union has a no-fee coin machine.  They stood next to each other on tiptoes, taking turns loading the hopper and shoveling in the coins, until every last penny of the $31.00 was cashed in.

Monday, May 14, 2012

How We Homeschool: The Schoolroom

Wednesday, January 4, 2012 ( a post that was written but never completed)

All during Christmas break I kept telling myself I would have time to rearrange and reorganize our schoolroom before it was time to return to business as usual. Pure delusion, what with regular daily life PLUS the Christmas holiday PLUS needing to devote time and energy to emptying and cleaning two houses that needed to be sold.

We resumed lessons on Tuesday, but before anyone else got moving, I tore into the schoolroom with gusto. After nearly two hours, I was satisfied. The biggest issue was that Regina kept getting into the cabinet where all the paper is stored, leaving the slippery floor littered with sheets and sheets of looseleaf, printer paper, and cardstock. Dangerous, wasteful AND annoying. I had to make that cabinet less accessible to her while still accessible to us.

I feel so blessed to have a dedicated schoolroom.  Our old house was much smaller; all the work was done at the dining room table, and I gave up a much-needed coat closet to store books and supplies.  Our current house has a bedroom on the second floor that's known as a walk-thru - you have to pass through it to continue on to the third floor.  Since nobody wants such a semi-private bedroom, we turned it into the schoolroom.

Here's where most of the schoolwork takes place. I love how the room is flooded with sunlight all morning and afternoon.

The large maps on the wall are where we play nerf dart geography.

The other half of the room. The paper cabinet is now in the corner, where I can restrict access with my chair. The copier and laptop sit atop the cabinet. The laptop is falling apart by degrees, it's no longer technically "portable."  We use it in the schoolroom now for educational videos and websites, as well as blogging.  I can blog on the tablet, but it's so much faster to type with two hands.

There are two smaller work surfaces by the window for me to banish allow a child or two to work independently, or gives them a place to color and cut while we're using the big table.

This corner closet is largely a catch-all, but I do keep art supplies and my sewing machine in the bottom.  The higher shelves are the place where I put things I don't want anyone to touch without permission.

The other corner bookshelf, behind the door, is where I keep all the books that are in current rotation.  Each kid has half a shelf where their books are stacked, and they are required to  put their books back on the shelves when they are finished.  There are also several books and resources that I want to use soon, so I keep them here in plain view so I don't forget all about them.  That happens all the time occasionally, you know.

The back of the door has a shoe organizer that I use to hold a little bit of everything - envelopes, extra glue sticks, things that need to be kept out of reach, like sharpies and post-its.  

Picture Parade: Contentment

I know this is a trivial issue, but in my house it's a long-standing source of aggravation.

This picture depicts how I prefer my school table carousel to look:  well-stocked with scissors, pencils, scissors, pens, rulers, sharpeners and scissors.  We can't have enough scissors in this house.  Unfortunately, it only looked like this for the few minutes it took me to snap the picture.  Most of time, there are safety scissors strewn throughout the house - bathroom, yard, living room, bedrooms, under beds - and when we need a pair (or three), it's like a game of "Now Where Did I See That Pair of Scissors?"

At least they're (mostly) out of the cutting-hair-and-clothing stages.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Friday, May 11, 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Monday, May 7, 2012

Picture Parade: Theresa's Sacraments of Initiation

In March, Theresa received the Sacrament of Penance for the first time.  She is pictured here with our pastor, Fr. Martin.

And yesterday she was able to partake of the Holy Eucharist for the first time.  I won't have the official pictures for some time, so instead I will share these which were taken a few days ago.

Many thanks to our friend Sherry, who expertly styled Theresa's flyaway raggmopp into an upsweep of braids and curls.  
It made Theresa feel like "a total princess!" 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Picture Parade: Hard At Work

A local department store had a table set up where kids could color free Mother's Day cards, picture frames, or coupon books while parents shopped.  I had quite a difficult time prying my little workers away!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Picture Parade: Yuck.

Susquehanna River.  Up to their ankles in river scum.  Yuck.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Picture Parade: It's Fun To Play At The Y-M-C-A.

The girls took swim lessons at the Y last winter, but the biggest treat was going to the day care/play area after they were all dried off and dressed.  The day care officially closed at noon, but we were allowed in as long as I supervised my kids and made sure they cleaned up when we were done.

Sometimes they used the huge foam shapes to build houses or castles or cages.  Today they built a store.

This is a lousy picture; I just loved Noelle's bouncy little ponytail.

Open for business.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Noelle, our Deep Thinker: "Mom, if you were all frogs, I would be born a frog."

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Picture Parade: You've Heard Of The Cake Boss?

Meet the Chainsaw Boss.


A friend had a huge tree downed in her horse pasture.  Andy was working, so Brian stepped up.  He's going to be 16 in a few weeks.

He's the Tiller Boss, too.

I am very grateful indeed to have such a strong, capable and willing son.