Friday, July 29, 2011


I feel a little funny about sharing this schedule, with me supposedly up at 5:30, after a week of getting up around eight each day! Today, I did manage to get up at six...I've given us all a more 'lax' week as far as the schedule goes, as I think we've all been catching up on sleep since family camp last week. A few years ago I'd be stressed out about this and feeling like a failure for not sticking to my scheduled plan; now, I am just really happy that we have the flexibility to rest more when we need to. So, here's what I came up with. Most days it's a loose guide, some days we actually stay with it all day.

5:30 Mom up, quiet time, dress, makeup

6:45 begin breakfast, wake kids, make Kevin's lunch (need to work on getting this done more often; usually he makes his own!)

7:15 Breakfast cleanup*

8:15 Mommy time with Annesley (playing games, reading, coloring...just spending some time with her before I get focused on helping the school-aged kids)

8:30 family worship

9:00 CC review (we work on miscellaneous memory work from Classical Conversations)

9:30 K- math
L-typing/work on independent checklist**
R-read to Annesley, Sam, play with them
J-phonics/handwriting/geography/read to him/he reads to me (We don't cover all of this every day; I try to make phonics and handwriting priority. We also work on a little Rod and Staff Bible story/coloring book.)
A-with Row
S- with Row

10:00 K-math/checklist
L-read to/play with S
R-math with me
J-alone time
A-alone time
S-with Lily

10:30 break outside/go over graded work with oldest 3

11:00 K-checklist/typing
L-math w/ me
J-play with S, A

11:30 lunch prep*, all other kids finish morning chores/work

12:00 lunch/cleanup*

1:00 Read aloud to all, Sam nap

1:30 R, J alone reading in bed
KNL-finish daily work

2:00 N, L grammar lesson
K-daily work or assigned reading

2:30 KN Science with me
L-assigned reading or rest time

3:00 K, N assigned reading for 45 minutes

3:45 done

*I've begun a two-month rotation for breakfast cleanup, lunch prep, lunch cleanup, and dinner cleanup. Right now, Joe is my breakfast cleanup helper, and though he's actually not much help, it's a good chance for me to train him as I'm usually in the kitchen at this time, too. Keely prepares lunch for us, the middle girls clean up lunch, and Noah cleans up after dinner with Daddy.

**Each of the kids has a checklist hanging on the wall in our schoolroom. It has written on it things they can do independently each day, and they check off their tasks with a dry-erase marker. Keely's, for example, has such things as piano, history reading (which I assign ahead of time), and laundry. Joseph's has 'brush teeth','make bed', etc.

Hope this is helpful to you if you're planning your own school year at home, or just curious about how our days might look. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Colorado Pics

On our way out to Dodge City, we stopped to see some Santa Fe Trail wagon ruts...however, we had a hard time figuring out exactly where they were...those ruts? or the discolored grass over there?....oh well. We were near them, anyhow, and had fun visualizing all those covered wagons making their slow trek west.

Dodge City was interesting, and this primitave jail was a bit scary. No cable t.v. and a/c for those bad boys.

The kids enjoyed sasparillas (very sweet root beers) at Boot Hill Museum.

The girls waiting for the gun fight to begin. We had an interesting talk about the 'saloon girls', and how even though they were dressed in cute outfits for the reenactment, that their lives were really sad and their 'occupations' evil and shouldn't be romanticized.

Sam was very concerned when the shots began to ring out. I took so many pictures of him with this pensive look on his face.

There were beautiful flowers throughout downtown Westcliff, CO.

Lily and Kevin went horseback riding on Monday, and had a great time. What a treat for my horse-loving girl!

This is the view from our cabin's front porch. We tried not to wake the neighbors before 7 a.m, but it was hard. Yes, Sam has a sharp stick in his mouth in the background. No, we didn't end up with any injuries during camp week. :)

Our favorite thing about family camp was meeting so many neat people from different congregations in our denomination. A very close second, for me, was having someone cook and clean up three square meals a day for us! I almost felt a little guilty at first leaving our messes for someone else! I think if/when we go again, it will be helpful to bring our baby monitor. I felt a little tied to the cabin in the afternoons when the little ones were napping, and wished I could've had some more freedom to socialize in those hours.

The lectures on sin by Andrew Quigley were hard to hear, at times, but had the ultimate effect of reminding me how great Christ's gift of salvation is, despite the ugliness of our sin. The Lord was applying what we were hearing to my heart and Kevin's, as we worked through some wrongs we had committed against each other on our trip. Marriage is hard work, even on vacation!

We're back in the swing of school after taking Monday off to deal with laundry and grocery shopping. It's good to be home, and we're getting excited about beginning our homeschool community again in a few weeks.

Stay cool out there!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Packing for a family of 9...Whew!

We've had an incredibly busy but good week here. I had Classical Conversations parent/tutor training all day Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and while I was in training, the kids went to various 'camps'. Keely and Noah did Logic, the middle girls were in the geography and drawing camp, and the younger two in 'play camp', where they learned some American history songs and made some cute crafts. Sam did amazingly well in the nursery, and I was blessed to have the peace of mind of a wonderful, loving lady who made me completely comfortable leaving him in a new situation. The kids all had a great time, and I had the chance to work on my skills of making eight lunches each day and trying to get us all out the door on time, with supplies and homework. Whew.

On our way to the practicum on Tuesday, I heard something that made me smile from the back seat. As we drove by a Great Clips, Lily said, "I don't like Great Clips." Noah asked her why, and she responded, "Because Mom took me there once and I got a bad haircut." Noah thought a minute and said, "Lily, that's a logical fallacy called a 'hasty generalization.' Just because you had one bad haircut there doesn't mean that all Great Clips are going to give bad haircuts." Yay for Logic Camp!!

Today is devoted to packing and packing and planning and list making and packing. I haven't had the energy to even think about preparing for our vacation, so today is the day. We leave tomorrow morning at 6 a.m., and I've much work to do yet! I'm trying to get all the laundry done so I can determine if the kids have enough complete outfits for our trip. If not, I'll be making a flying shopping trip this afternoon. How's that for waiting til the last minute? You can lay to rest any ideas about me being super-organized super-mom!

This is actually about 1/3 of the kids' clothing for the trip. I still have lots to gather...

We'll be heading to Colorado for family camp (our first time ever to go!), and breaking up our drive with one afternoon and night in Dodge City. We plan on going to some wild-west type museums that will be fun for the kids. Typical homeschool Mom that I am, I've had the older ones reading books about Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday and the Santa Fe Trail so they can appreciate what we'll be seeing there.
As for keeping everyone happy in the car for the 26-28 hour round trip....Well, I have a plan to help that I hope is successful! We just purchased the Narnia books on CD (the Focus on the Family Radio Theatre ones that are excellent), and I've picked up some goodies to distribute every three hours or so while we're on the road: gum, small toys, activity books, etc. We also allow our kids to watch movies on their iPods or on the portable DVD player--in moderation.

If you think of us, please pray for safety on the roads. Things will be settling down for us after we get back home, and I will post that school schedule then.
Now, back to packing....

Tuesday, July 05, 2011


Yesterday afternoon we had a great time at our friends' house. The kids were so excited to shoot fireworks. The kids even decided to purchase our fireworks in Missouri since bottle rockets aren't illegal there, as they are in Kansas. (You may substitute 'my husband' for 'the kids' in the above sentences.) Really, my children should be so glad they have their Daddy to bring some fun into their lives. If it were up to me, we'd do smoke bombs, snakes, sparklers, and maybe those little tanks that roll and shoot sparks out of the end.

What do we have here?

How interesting.

Oooh! Here comes one!

I think I may be able to go in....

Yes, I think I can fit!
(This is when I intervened.)

We had a great time and enjoyed the pretty countryside, the chickens, and the freedom to shoot bottle rockets. One of my friend's children ended up with a minor burn from a punk, but seemed to recover quickly. Obviously the Lord answered prayers for protection with sixteen kids running around and fireworks flying! Hope you had a wonderful Independence Day, too!