Monday, February 28, 2011

painting progress...

Just a quick note to update my progress with painting. The kitchen is done, except for behind the fridge and painting the trim, which I may wait to do until I have finished the living room and I can do it all at once. The color is really not much like the way it shows up in this picture, I couldn't get my flash to work. It is much more of a warm gold rather than yellow like it looks here. Even though I want to think about what to do next, I don't think I can because I am still trying to return my house to a semi-functional state just from taking a day and a half off from doing normal housework-y things.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Paint Has Been Purchased!!! (Gift 24)

Glory be, praise and hallelujah, the paint, rollers, brushes, pans, painters tape, spackle & putty knives are all sitting in the back of my van, just waiting for the weekend to officially get here! My poor kitchen has been waiting many months to get the attention it deserves. I started a job that I could not finish back in October, I think it was, when I put the primer on the walls. Well, by now of course the primer has spaghetti sauce splotches and chunks of mysterious substances on it, but it's nothing my putty knife can't fix! (Can you FEEL my enthusiasm?) This is a HUGE gift, I am so excited. I will not be posting "before" pictures, because NOBODY wants to see that, but I will be posting "afters"! Hopefully the afters will come sooner, rather than later!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Nana Moore's Myrtle, Gift #23

At first, it was nothing special. Irene and I wandered outside,mostly because it was just too lovely outside in that sunshine to stay inside in the dark house. We talked, and walked, and Irene picked the bark on the tree. Then, as she bent down to pick up sticks on the ground, I saw it...

It might not look like much there, but it is the myrtle I planted, from my mom's house. You see, I lived with my mom for about four years while Michael and Rachel were still very, very young. She had a log cabin in upstate New York. Both my mom and I agree, that those were some really good days. Tough days, and trying in many ways for other reasons, but I can't put into words how much I miss having my mom to talk to every day. Even still. After all of these years away, I still miss it {miss her} so much.

One year, shortly before she sold and moved out of the log cabin, we took a summer trip up to New York. While I was there, I told her how pretty her myrtle looked in the front flower bed, and she told me to take some home with me. I remember looking at her like a kid in a candy shop, and I set to work digging it up, and preparing it to weather the long trip back to Georgia in the summer heat. I planted it under the oak tree in the backyard when we got home, but it was a young and spindly tree that couldn't offer much shade. In New York, the myrtle likes sun, but it wanted to hide from this new kind of searing heat that it found in Georgia. I had picked a bad spot with not enough shade. I kept watering it, but it had died. For years, I have thought it was dead. Until today. Now that the tree has grown up some and filled out, the plant has found the shade that it needs beneath the oak tree in our own little Georgia backyard. Long after I had given up, God saw fit to gift me with a little piece of home to keep me company and remind me of my sweet mom. It makes me feel good to know that what we see is not always what is the truth. He can be growing a new plant right under our nose, but we just can't see it yet. THIS is what I am thankful for today!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

a day off from school!

We headed down to Nuna & Papa's yesterday to spend the day, and really had a great time. I had emailed Nuna (my mom-in-law) about an idea I had about making little Valentine bags from fabric that the kids could use as mailboxes, to give each other Valentines and treats in (and maybe I will slide a few treats in myself). I thought it would be fun for them to have something that they could save from year to year,since I have not usually done very much on Valentine's Day to make it memorable, except maybe bake some cookies. I think I have mentioned before that I am NOT very good at sewing. Nuna was kind enough to pick up some fabric for my idea at Joann's Fabrics, and invited us down to make them, have lunch and just hang out. Well, you can imagine my relief, due to the fact that Nuna spent many years as a professional seamstress. I thought I was home free! So I traipsed on down to Monticello, but when I got there Nuna said that she had the fabric all ready for me to cut out and sew. Uh oh. The look on her face when I asked her what to do first was priceless. Kind of like "Seriously? You don't know how to make a BAG?" Well, long story short, she kindly guided me and I DID IT !

After a long day of sewing, cooking and the kids getting plenty of outside playtime, we headed home, stopping off at Publix to pick up the fixin's for banana splits, which Abbie has asked me to include pictures of here:

What a fun day!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

All About Spelling

I do not post very often about our homeschooling curriculum. Before blogging, I never really talked about it much either. I just assumed that nobody would really be interested, since I am not producing any child prodigies over here in my tiny corner of Georgia. I also worry too much sometimes over offending others who are not big fans of homeschooling, which is something that I have worried less and less about in recent years. I have become much more secure in our choice over the years, and rest in knowing that God will lead us in the right choices for our family. Although it has taken me quite some time, I finally feel very confident that what we are doing is "legitimate", regardless of what the majority of the population may think about it! I have babbled too long, I only meant to say that even though I love to try new curriculum, I have found one thing that I know I want to stick with throughout the years, and it is "All About Spelling". I only wish that it had been available many years ago. There is such a plethora of curriculum available now, that it can be absolutely overwhelming to try and wade through the choices. (Walk through the curriculum hall at a homeschool convention and you will quickly understand!)

All About Spelling is great because it covers all years of spelling, it really serves double duty as a phonics/ reading program because it covers all the phonics rules but in a very painless way, it is very hands on and multisensory (unusual for a spelling program!), and it does not require any advance lesson planning for mom. Basically, after you do the initial set up which includes putting some cards in a filebox and putting magnets on the back of letter tiles, it is a "pick-up-and-go" program. Irene and Abbie love doing it because they love moving the letter tiles around on the whiteboard, and not even Matthew complains about it. It is said to be for ages from preschool on up through middle school. I am using it with Matthew as a remedial program, because I think he could benefit from the thoroughness of it. Last but not least, for those who are inclined, it fits very well with the classical education model.

The one drawback is that it is a bit pricey to get started, BUT, after the first purchase you should only need the next level books which is pretty reasonable. Keep in mind that you can re-use with subsequent children, and they resell quickly and at a good price. If you might be interested, feel free to check them out through my link. Well there you have it, my very first ever, unofficial curriculum review ! : )

Monday, February 7, 2011

Gifts 17-22

I just realized that Mondays are the only days I seem to post anything anymore, and that they are all about the "gifts" ! I guess it is because every time I go to use my camera lately to snap up a picture of some "Kodak Moment", there are no batteries in it because somebody (Matthew) stole them to put them in the Wiimote. I truly don't understand how he can think playing Smackdown on the Wii comes anywhere near the importance of my being able to chronicle our happy, joyful, peaceful, loving, enriching (only in the photographs) homeschool days, but alas, he does it to me every time. So until I remember to get some new rechargeables, I guess my thankful list will have to do.

~those really yummy cinnamon biscuits I made this morning that were WAY easier than I expected.

~ Irene & Matthew playing checkers, now that Irene's tooth has stopped bleeding from when she whacked her face on Abbie's head this afternoon.

~ a note from my best friend since high school and sister-in-law, sister-in-Christ that encouraged me when I started out my day feeling kind of dreary and lonely. How thankful I am for the amazing people that God has put in my life!

~ Abbie's questions...she is so FULL of them, especially when I am trying to read aloud to the kids. She interrupts to ask things like "If you fall down and land on your eyeballs, what would happen?" and, "If a lightbulb breaks will it fill the room with poison and we all die?" and "If I rub my tongue on my gums long enough will it put a hole in them?" It makes read aloud time a little tedious but her questions always make me smile! (Unless it is the 5th time she has interupted in one paragraph. Any thoughts on how to curb this would be greatly appreciated!!)

~ My Rachel, sitting behind me folding clothes, without being asked. I could never deserve to have a daughter like her, she is a gift to me.

~Hooray for Matthew, he finally got the Boy Scout Promise and the Boy Scout Law memorized. YAY!