Wednesday, January 26, 2011

L is for Ladybug

This was my first week having both boys at home in the mornings.  Jacob started in the PreK class at school so he is now going in the afternoons.  So I’m now working with both boys.  It is more fun with two but much more challenging.  Ben is  more interested in Jacobs’ work than his own and Jacob can’t still for more than 2 seconds.  I think they enjoy having each other but I need to be more creative in how to work with both boys without pulling my hair out. 




I taught them the song “This little light of mine” (to go along with our L theme) 


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We worked on

  • Life stages of a lady bug
  • Information about insects.  They were so NOT interested in what I had to tell them about insects.  I did get them to sit and listen to some books. 
  • Ben’s still working on addition facts, telling time and special sounds
  • Jacob focused on the number 1, letter L and color yellow

The highlight of the week was a play date with their cousin Isaac.  They played with trains and then spent over two hours playing “Beach Day”.  They  found the swimsuits, and beach towels, then took turns jumping into the “water”.  It was great to see how well they played together and used their imaginations. DSC02925

S is for Snowman

Ben was so ready to get back into our routine after a month of busyness.  Digging back into school wasn’t hard when I told him we’d start out the year doing a “Katy and the Big Snow” lapbook.  This is one of his favorite books and we have the audio version.  No matter what curriculum we use in the future I know we will always incorporate Lapbooks into our learning.  He loves them!  Right now the stack of lapbooks we’ve already completed are next to his seat in the van so every time we go somewhere he reads through them again and again. 


DSC02921    My favorite kind of craft is an edible one.  I don’t have to store it or feel guilty for tossing it.  Here we have a gluten free/dairy free snowman :-)



Writing letters and numbers in the “snow”.  I made a winter sensory bin with cotton balls, foam balls and glass beads for “ice”.   


We learned

  • What is snow?
  • What is a blizzard?
  • Street signs and Community helpers
  • Reviewed counting by 2’s, 5’s and 10’s
  • Jesus washes us whiter than snow

Ben seemed more like himself this week.  It was good to see him more relaxed.

  DSC02933 I loved this outfit Ben came up with.  Too funny!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

2011 Resolutions/Goals

Last year I made one New Year’s Resolution.  No fast food.  In 2009 I kept track of all our spending using Quicken.  We had spent over $300 just at McDonalds!  So, I figured that if we skipped the fast food we’d be richer and most likely healthier in 2010.  We made it until December when we caved on our way to Rockville for Christmas.  I still consider it a resolution success. Truthfully, it tasted totally yuck after not having it for so long.  Of course we are not really richer because the money was spent somewhere else but we did learn that we could live without something we thought we couldn’t and we are all still alive!!  Success!

This year I decided that I am due for a makeover.  While I’d love to get rid of my stretch marks, wrinkles and the veins in my legs, what I really need is an internal makeover.  I feel like for the past 10-15 years I’ve struggled with the same issues/strongholds and it’s time to break free.    I’ve also determined that to be the best mom I can be for my kiddos especially my two with special needs, this mom needs to be able to keep it together.  Physically and Emotionally.  First on my “to tackle” list is to get my priorities straight.  God says, Him first, my husband second, kids then me.  So here are my goals for this year. 

  1. Grow Spiritually – I’ve made a goal of checking in with God first by reading his word and praying BEFORE I check in with the rest of the world via email, Facebook or phone.
  2. Make my relationship with Matt a priority.
  3. Be the mom I know God desires me to be (lots of subcategories under this one)
  4. Get healthy
    1. Lose the 30 pounds once and for all.
    2. Develop a better relationship with food.
    3. Run the Borgess 1/2 marathon in May

I’ve set some small everyday goals for myself to attain these larger goals.  So now it’s out there.  All the things I need to work on.  Feel free to pray for any or all of these things for me and please ask me how I’m doing.  I’m going to try to hold myself accountable by writing about them in my blog.  So, here’s to 2011 and my Extreme Home Makeover. 

before picture

My official before picture.

Friday, January 7, 2011

J is for Jesus

December seems like so long ago that I actually had to look at the pictures to remember what we had done during the month.  The four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas were so crazy busy that next year I am just planning on taking the month off of homeschool so that I can just focus on Christmas and all of the fun activity that goes with it.  Even if it means we do some extra work during the summer.   I moved Bens workboxes upstairs to the dining room and we worked on “activities” as we had time and as he had interest. 

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This year I really wanted to be more purposeful doing Christmas activities with the kids.  I’ve always had some sort of paper Advent calendar but never really did anything with it.  This year I took an idea from another blog and tweaked it to suit me and this is what I came up with.  I typed up ideas and put an activity in each stocking/day.  This helped a ton with keeping me accountable, especially when I have an autistic boy that can read and wouldn’t let me forget that we’re supposed to have hot chocolate that day!  I didn’t get to all of the activities, this is real life, but I did a lot more than last year so I consider it a success. 


We made Christmas playdoh.  Ben read the recipe (which counted for his reading, right?) Then he and Jacob made playdoh cookies. 



They were really bummed they couldn’t eat them. It was edible playdoh but not Gluten Free.


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The boys put together a gingerbread train that was honestly a huge pain in the rear!  The frosting didn’t set fast enough and someone cut the hole too big in the tip of the bag so it just globbed everywhere.  The boys enjoyed it though and I was glad when we checked that one off our list.  Rachel stayed on top of the paper chain.  Can you believe my oldest is 12 and this is the first year I made a paper chain to count down till Christmas? 

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During break Rachel acted as guest teacher for Ben.  He enjoyed doing his work with her and she was a very good teacher.  Good practice for her!




Other Christmas activities/traditions

  • Caroling to our favorite babysitter Stacie and her family
  • Band concerts
  • Christmas program at church (adult, not kids)
  • Read books in front of the fire
  • Matt read “A Certain Small Shepherd”, a book from his childhood, to the kids
  • Advent wreath
  • Watched classic Christmas movies
  • Of course, lots of cookie baking and eating
  • made a birthday cake for Jesus.

We had a wonderful Christmas and we’re thankful for the family we got to spend it with and for all the many blessings that God has provided us.