Monday, October 25, 2010


We had a field trip to the fire station today and it was fun. The kids enjoyed seeing the big trucks up close.

It has been a busy week and today I am feeling tired.  I am cranky and know we have another busy week ahead.  I have sort of decided to take this week off from school. I think we all could use the break. We have been going strong for 8 weeks and a rest is needed.  Plus we have things going on 3 of the 5 days this week so not having school will make it less stressful on all of us.  We will hopefully all feel much better when we start back up again on Monday.  

I am kinda doubting my abilities as a teacher this week. Those who know me will probably think I am crazy.  I have a degree in elementary education.  I was a teacher before I had my kids.  I taught third and first grades.  I know how to teach, but I feel like I am not doing a good job with Sugar Plum.  

Saturday during Sugar Plum's birthday party I walked into the living room at my in-laws house and noticed her on the couch with my mother-in-law and my nephew, he was reading to them.  My nephew, M,  is 5 and is in kindergarten at a local Christian school where his mom is a teacher.  I was happy to see him reading and sat to listen to him for a minute.  It made me feel good and then bad. I have babysat M since he was 3 months old while his mom worked.  I started watching him 6 weeks before Sugar Plum was born.  The two have grown up together at our house.  He did two years of preschool with us before starting school this fall.  I felt some pride in seeing him read.  I had a little part in his learning as his preschool teacher.  I then started to question myself about why Sugar Plum is not yet reading.  Am I good enough?  Here M started school the same time and is reading already.

I know Sugar Plum was young to start kindergarten.  She just turned 5 last week. Both my husband and I felt she was ready.  There was not much else she really needed to learn before kindergarten.  I know it can take a while for kids to click with reading.  I know it is not my fault she is not reading kids all learn to read at their own pace, but it still made me feel like I was doing something wrong.

There is someone who has commented to me that we can always do kindergarten again if Sugar Plum needs to.  Honestly, I have been hurt by that and it makes me think they don't see me as being able to teach her.  For the first time though I have had the thought cross my mind.  Will she be successful this year?  Will we need to repeat K?  Did we make a mistake in starting her too early?  I know it is only the end of October and we have a long school year ahead of us.  I guess I am just feeling down about it right now.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Five Question Friday 10/22/10

1. Who is the better cook, you or your spouse?  
Him.  By all means. I can mess up hotdogs. I can bake well, but not cook. Funny I know, but the truth. This caused many disagreements when we first got married, but we worked it all out and now he cooks.  I kinda like it that way.

2. How often do you talk to your mom?
At least once a week. Sometimes more. She does read my blog, so Hi Mom!

3. Are you adventurous in the kitchen or stick to the recipe?
See number 1. I am not the best cook so I don't try new things.

4. Is your second toe longer than your big toe?
I had to look. No, it is slightly shorter than my big toe.

5. Do you dress up for Halloween? (Bonus question: What will you be this year?)
Nope, I don't dress up. Never have.

Head over to Mama M's to see what others have to say today.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pumpkin Pie

Today two of these pie pumpkins sat on my table.

Now there is only one. Because.....

This now resides in its place.  

And wow, it was wonderful.  I don't think I will ever make one any other way again. I can not explain how good it was.  I have never before made a pie straight from the pumpkin. It was easy and so delicious.

We celebrated Sugar Plum's birthday tonight with the pie.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


On October 20, 2005 my life forever changed.

Sugar Plum on the day she was born.






Monday, October 18, 2010

Painting, Pumpkins, & Bread

Today was another wonderful day.  We talked more about pumpkins and made a delicious pumpkin bread.  The kids were excited about making the bread especially since it had chocolate chips in it.

Here everything is ready to go and on the table to be easily added to the mixer.  I forgot to take any pictures of them adding things.  Oh, well.

Ignore the really dirty stove.  I did clean it tonight.

Here is the finished product minus two large muffins.  We had already sampled those after lunch.  It was so good.  The kids both kept asking for more all day long.

Later we painted some of the pumpkins we picked a few weeks ago.  

I love the concentration on Tiger Boy's face.  He was really into it.

Sugar Plum had fun mixing the colors and making new ones to paint with.

Tomorrow we will be learning all about the life cycle of a pumpkin.

Friday, October 15, 2010

More Pumpkin Stuff

We did a few more things with pumpkins this week. It was fun.  We made muffins, pumpkin dip, pumpkin butter, and toasted seeds.  Here are a few pictures of the kids with the seeds.

Sugar Plum counted out piles of 10 seeds so we could get the total easier.

Tiger Boy did a little counting. I did most of his pile.

I forgot to take a picture of all the seeds on the table once we counted them.  We had over 680 seeds.  It was a lot of seeds. 

Getting the seeds ready to be toasted.

Next week we have a few more pumpkin themed things to do including making a pie from a fresh pumpkin.  I have only made them from canned pumpkin before so it will be a new experience for all of us.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pumpkins Day 1

Today we started our mini unit on pumpkins.  It was fun.  Here is a little of what we did.

We lined them up smallest to biggest and counted them.

Next we estimated their weight and weighed them to check how accurate we were. Tiger Boy guessed 10 on all of his and was actually close on one.  Sugar Plum guessed 22 pounds for her large pumpkin and she was correct. 

Next we measured how big around the pumpkins were.

Finally we took one out to the porch and cut it open.  I think they look so funny here. Like they are bored to death or something.  It just makes me laugh.

Seeing inside for the first time.  I wish I had not cut off Tiger Boy's head. This is such a fun picture.

Exploring and observing inside. Tiger Boy only touched it once.  It was sticky.  He is so much like his daddy and doesn't like to get dirty.

Playing in the "goop" as she called it.  Sugar Plum is like me and doesn't mind a bit of mess.

Tiger Boy digging in the pumpkin (with a spoon) after I cleaned it all out.

Later we went in and wrote in our booklets all that we had learned while playing with the pumpkin. I cleaned the seeds and they are drying on the counter for more fun to come this week.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ready for Pumpkins

Last Saturday I took the kids to a local farm.  We took a hayride to the pumpkin patch and they each picked 2 pumpkins.
They loved the big pumpkins.

Tiger Boy did not like that his pumpkin was dirty.

Sugar Plum wanted a big one.

I also purchased a few smaller ones.  The kids had a great time.  We will be doing a two week unit study on pumpkins starting on Monday.  I made up a little booklet to keep track of all we will do and learn.  I also have a few extra things I found online and got from our library.  I am excited for this and the kids can hardly wait to start. More posts will come as we go through our unit.

This is one of my favorites.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Math Blessing

Tonight when we got to church, a friend told me she had something for me.  She handed me a bag with a math curriculum inside.  I was overjoyed.  It has 12 mini student books, a manipulatives packet, a large pocket chart, a teachers graphing guide, a cd with math jingles, 3 computer math games K-3, 3 books, 6 cassette tapes with math stories (I need to find an old tape player), and a large mat for games.  I think I got it all.

I am really excited about the manipulatives.

I am not sure how I am going to use all of this or if I will save it for my son.  We are using Singapore math right now an enjoying it.  I need to go through all of it and figure it out.  My  friend is a teacher at a local elementary school and this was laying around for anyone to have so she got it for me.  There is not a teachers guide but she will be watching for one and get it if it turns up.

I feel so blessed.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Beginning Workboxes

I had a wonderful day homeschooling my children today.   I got my book on Saturday about Sue Patrick's Workbox System. I read all of it in less than 24 hours.  I had already purchased the cart system to use for my daughter and I bought some baskets for my son to use.  I was eager to get this system up and running. I knew it would help our day go more smoothly.

Sugar Plum was happy to use the boxes today.  She set the order of the drawer colors herself and I am just glad they are not all wildly mixed up and it has a nice flow to the colors.  Purple is her favorite so it got top billing.

Sugar Plum cart only has 10 drawers, but it works great for us for now.

 Drawer #1  Daily Journal Writing & Drawing

Drawer #2 Beginning Sounds Worksheet

Drawer #3 Phonics Game 

Drawer #4 Explode the Code Book

Drawer #5 Math Teaching Workbook Page

Drawer #6 Which Is Bigger? Dice Game

Drawer # 7 Do It Carefully Page (fine motor skills)  

Drawer # 8 Pom Pom Sort in Groups of 10

Drawer #9 Piano Book Practice 10 minutes

Drawer #10 Read Book With Mom

Tiger Boy was thrilled to have boxes like his big sister.  He worked quietly and even asked for more boxes when he finished them.  I only got 4 because they were on clearance at Wal-Mart.  I think I will have to check fore more since he loves them.

Here is a picture of the 4 workboxes I set up for Tiger Boy.

Box #1 Marble Sorting with a Spoon

Box #2 Coloring Sheet of our weekly theme

Box #3 How Many Dump Trucks Counting Game

Box #4 Paper, Scissors & Glue
(He could do whatever he wanted with them.)

Overall, it was a super successful day.  

Tiger Boy did his work at the coffee table and had a blast with the marbles.

Sugar Plum really enjoys playing the games and has no clue that she is learning while playing.

So there you have it.  Our first official day with workboxes. It was wonderful and I am looking forward to using them again tomorrow.