Friday, February 27, 2015

Week in Review: Bird Watching and More Snow


We experienced more snow this week. This time it was of the fluffy variety, rather than the icy stuff we had last week. Before the snow came, we had a few visitors in our backyard. George called me to the back door to look at the birds. He does this often and I figured they were random birds he was looking at, but when I got to the door, I saw the strangest birds, with very long beaks and plump little bodies. I posted a picture of them on Facebook, asking friends to identify them for me, and learned that they were American Woodcocks and are rarely seen in the wild (at least by folks around here, including a bird enthusiast). We felt ourselves lucky to watch five or so of them digging for food in our backyard. We have not seen them since.

Then the snow came. My parents came over in the afternoon and my dad wanted to take the older children outside to play in the snow. We were unprepared, and could not find George's gloves so he ended up wearing an extra pair of his sisters gloves, and poor Bridget only had a pair of yoga pants to put on to keep her legs warm. But we made it outside. I also bundled Liam up to take some pictures of him in his first snow (again, last week was more of an ice storm and I don't count that as being his first snow.)

Once out there, Bridget attempted to show my mom that she could swing and didn't think before sitting down on a snowy swing. Needless to say, she quite literally froze her behind. The only picture I got of her was right after this happened. She was not very pleased. Shortly after, she went inside.

I laid Liam down in the snow and he proceeding to flap his arms and legs, making a baby snow angel, but also had snowflakes falling in his face. I quickly snapped the picture and got him out of the snow.

George stayed outside much longer, hitting the swing set with his bat and watching the snow fall, and running around in the snow. My dad finally brought him inside when he figured George's hands must be frozen. They almost were! But he had a lot of fun.



We continued on with our states study and learned all about Pennsylvania. I made my own states worksheets to include facts I wanted to cover and Bridget is excited about putting together her states notebook.

We also made Philly Cheesesteaks for dinner. Bridget loved them. George was more interested in the cheese sauce.


Bridget does so well memorizing her poem to help her read. She knows the poem "The Five Vowels" and we are now working on "The Consonants Rhyme", both of which are found in this book. This is the same that  we've been doing but I am including it here again since Bridget wanted to have her picture taken with our board. One doesn't realize how crooked their writing is on the whiteboard until they snap a picture and post it on a blog.


We finished Grimm's Fairy Tales this week and began The Secret Garden. We are still sporadically reading Animal Stories.

Bridget prefers these non-picture books and has not asked me to ready anything else but these. George listens sometimes, but he's still very much into picture books. I am thinking of getting him a boy-themed book in this same series to see if that will get his attention. But he just turned 3 so it may just be an attention span issue.

Fettuccine Alfredo
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Tomato Soup with Israeli Couscous
Philly Cheesesteaks

Final Thoughts

We had a fun week. Homeschooling with a three-year-old and seven-month-old can be rather stressful at times and I feel like I don't accomplish what I want to with Bridget by the end of each week. I just need to keep telling myself that she's doing fine, we're doing fine, and we'll get it done... some time. Housework can wait. That sounds like a good plan.

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Friday, February 20, 2015

Week in Review: Frozen in the South

This post was originally published on my old blog.

This week was full of holiday festivities. Saturday was, of course, Valentine's Day. Bridget made daddy spaghetti for dinner. He gave her pink roses. They're a perfect match and so cute together.

Tuesday was Fat Tuesday, or Malasada Day. We had malasadas (Portuguese doughnuts) for breakfast and throughout the day. You can learn more about malasadas and see the recipe here.

The remainder of the week was not so exciting. We haven't left the house since Monday! If you didn't notice in the previous photo of the children, the ground outside was covered in snow/ice. We live in the South and this isn't supposed to happen. It's very pretty but too cold for me. Here are a couple of photos I got just from stepping out the front door. Every plant and tree was covered with a layer of ice.

We've read a number of stories this week (when my voice lets me... the heater constantly running has dried up the air, thus making my throat very dry). Bridget's favorite right now is the Grimm's Fairy Tales (I read these to her, as they are advanced). She is blown away with the stories of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, and how different they are from the Disney movies. It's almost as if it were an entirely new story. She is also doing well with only listening to the stories. Our Grimm's Fairy Tales book has no pictures, but she does well with her imagination. I think she also listens to the details of the story more.

Bridget is also advancing well with the BOB books. She gets frustrated from time to time, especially when I refuse to tell her what a word is and make her sound it out. It takes time but she gets it.

Bridget is also baffled by the sound the letter C makes in words like cat, cup, and can. She knows those words start with a C, but she wants to know why. Why not the letter K? I have a feeling we'll be having this same discussion as we continue through our reading lessons.

In other news, Liam has been performing a new trick these past few days. He'll do it again and again as long as you keep clapping and cheering him on.

It is a freezing 14 degrees this morning but we are looking forward to temperatures in the 50s this weekend. Only in the South.

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Week in Review: Ballet, Dentist Trip, Real Food!

This post was originally published on my old blog.

In school, we did our usual, math, reading, writing, etc. We spent the most time this week on reading. I start with our lesson from The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading (I cannot say enough how much I love this book!), and then we move on to reading our BOB books. This is when Bridget gets some good practice with very simple books. We could probably breeze through the books faster but I'm very insistent that she is able to read each book without mistakes. If she has trouble with a word or two, I throw the book back into the pile and we read it again the next day. The books she reads well we put aside.

We've slowed down on math since we are getting close to finishing the book. I think I may end up getting the next level before the school year is over, as I don't know how much longer I can drag on the lessons. I need to find more drill worksheets to fill up our day.

As for the other events of our week, we started off by giving Liam his first taste of rice cereal on Sunday. He grabbed the spoon right out of my husbands hand and gave himself his first bite.

You could tell he was very interested in the texture and taste, and didn't push it out of his mouth too much. On Monday, however, he realized that the rice cereal is not very tasty. On Tuesday, I gave him squash with his rice cereal. Oh boy, did he love this! He wants to feed himself mostly, but in an effort to keep things clean and tidy I try to feed him myself. Occasionally he grabs the spoon and won't let go. I let him have it for awhile to avoid tears.

Bridget's dance academy had their parent's week so my husband and I were able to watch what she has learned throughout the year. She adores her teacher, even though it does not look that way in the photo. Having mom and dad there makes her a little nervous.
George had his very first dentist appointment on Wednesday. He is the complete opposite from Bridget, who had to sit in my lap while the hygienist could only brush her teeth. George on the other hand climbed up into the chair on his own and the hygienist was able to use all the tools she needed. It was a successful examination and he has no cavities. He was not afraid even once! (I also had my teeth cleaned and am happy to give a good report on that as well.)

For dinner that night, I prepared fresh asparagus to go with our chickpea filets. I am always trying to introduce new vegetables to the kids and I'm surprised I had waited this long to introduce asparagus. George instantly fell in love. He appreciates good food and makes this face when he is eating something tasty. He savors every bite. He's saying "Mmmmm mmmmm! That sooooo good!" in the picture.

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Friday, February 6, 2015

Week in Review: Silly Animal Stories, Liam is Up!

This post was originally published on my old blog.

Our week started off on a low note when our friend Phil the Groundhog predicted that spring would not be coming early this year. Bridget woke up early and was so excited about seeing Phil. She didn't quite understand why I looked so disappointed. She still adores the little critter, but I on the other hand am having to rethink our relationship.

On Tuesday, we began reading a new book called Animal Stories. When we finished reading the story of how the elephant got its trunk, Bridget informed me that it was not true. But we did agree that it was still a good story, as silly as it was. While I read it again the next day, she drew a picture. I'm not sure why she colored the elephant's trunk red (maybe she figured it was bloody from being in the crocodile's mouth). After retelling the story back to me, she then drew eyelashes and earrings on the poor elephant.

During play time this week, the kids spent a lot of time dressing up. Bridget has a lot of princess dresses to wear and George has his one dragon costume from last Halloween. He has worn it every day this week. I think he likes how warm and cozy it is. It's rather cute to see a little dragon going from room to room.

The boys went to the doctor on Thursday morning for their well-care visits. They're both healthy and growing well.

I'm lacking in pictures this week, but I did grab the camera this morning after Liam successfully made it onto his knees after days of failed attempts. Then he did it again. And again. Then I grabbed the camera. I'm so glad I did. Here are three of about twenty pictures that I took. Oh how we all love this cute little guy.

We're all looking forward to some warmer weather this weekend. Sunday looks like it will be in the upper sixties! This time, it won't be raining. I hope we are able to play outside for awhile after church. We all could use a bit of sunshine.

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