Friday, August 26, 2011

Encouragement by Charlene Notgrass

Teach Your Children to Live

Take pressure off yourself by realizing that your children are learning all the time. Be disciplined about completing the curriculum you believe God wants your children to learn, but quit hurrying up to “finish your schoolwork” so you can go on vacation (which can be geography and maybe science and history, too) or get to soccer practice (health and PE) or fix dinner (home economics and science and math). Fill your lives with rich experiences, godly people, and service to others. Don’t let “school” be a pressure—learn to live instead. Today look for the learning opportunities in the activities of life.

I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


It has been one of those days. Nothing really bad happened, just a blah kind of day. This evening Madeline took Malachi out to feed the horses and milk the goats. It was really time for his bath but I thought the few minutes of quiet would be nice. When they came back inside she sheepishly said that both goats kicked their buckets over. In frustration I said, "I can't help but think you weren't paying as much attention since you had Malachi out there." I took him by the hand to go take his bath. I was scrubbing his head when he looked up at me and said, "Mommy, it is a choice to be happy."

Wednesdays are hard because Marc has men's meeting at church, Matthew goes with him for scouts and McKenzie teaches piano lessons. Normally Marc puts Malachi to bed and it gives me a break in the evening. Tonight I was reading and praying with him. I often ask my children what their favorite thing about that day was. When I asked Malachi tonight he enthusiastically said, "Milking with Madeline!" Sometimes we have to be reminded of what is really important. Nothing like a little child to do that for you!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Keeping cool...

We have had a HOT summer. The kids have found some creative ways to stay cool!

Matthew is always creating something!

Having a blast!

We were deep into our History lesson one day when Mariah looked stressed out. I asked her what was the matter and she said, "If you don't hurry up we are going to miss the sprinkler!" The kids love when the center pivot in the field across from us is spraying into our yard. I let them take a break to cool off and then our lesson went much better! :o)

Malachi always manages to find mud!

Soaking up the last bit of summer...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My other Little Fish...

Myles absolutely loves the water. He has no fear (which makes me have fear! :o) and likes to be left alone. He will walk right off the steps without water wings on. We laugh and say he is going to be our "extreme sports" kind of guy.

Sporting Mariah's pink goggles...

then she took them. Gotta love those toddler tantrums!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Swimming w/ Malachi

Malachi went from not wanting to get in the pool at all to swimming by himself this summer! He is the kind of kid that has to make his own mind up to do something. A few weeks ago we were at my parents' pool and it clicked with him. Of course, I didn't have my camera! We went swimming the other day and I got these pictures of him.

He is so proud of himself. :o)Once they learn... there is no stopping them!

Proud that he conquered!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


We have a huge butterfly bush by our front porch. Madeline and Mariah are fascinated with the different butterflies that it attracts. I bought two nets for them, but they actually just reach over and pick them up off the bush.

Mariah was asking questions about what kind the different ones were. I had no clue what most of them were, so being the wonderful homeschooling mother that I am (haha) we researched to find out. We checked a really neat butterfly guide out at the library this summer. The pictures were so pretty.

Mariah was amazed that there are about 20,000 species of butterflies around the world and close to 600 here where we live! This morning alone she saw a Clouded Sulphur (Colias philodice), Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, and a Monarch (Danaus plexippus.) We found the "family" that the above butterfly was from but couldn't figure out the exact one that it was.

This one was the clouded sulphur. There are tons of different ones in that family.

Malachi just stood by eating his pear taking it all in.

What a life... :o)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

School days...

August 1st marked the first "official" day of our school year! I am always ready to have more of a routine, but it is sad that another summer break is over.

I have most of Madeline and Mariah's things in these two crates. They both work in our office at desks. Matthew has a separate shelf and he works at the kitchen table. As of day two it is working for us. :o)

I love this American History curriculum by Notgrass for high school so much that I bought the middle school Am. History from them.

Chemistry!! Thank goodness for Apologia!

I am so excited that McKenzie asked if she could work with Malachi this year! I would have only read books to him this year. She started working with him some over the summer and already has him reading some short vowel words. She works with him while Myles is napping and that frees me up to work with Madeline and Mariah. I LOVE having a daughter that is finished with school. She is staying busy! I will write more about what she is doing in another post.

Not sure why Myles was so unhappy.

I have a graduate, 10th grader, 7th grader, 3rd grader, preschooler and almost 2 year old this year.

Matthew always loves the first day of school photos.

Smile Matthew... it's not that bad!

We have had two days so far and the only challenge is keeping the toddler in his bed! He has learned how to climb out. Hopefully with some consistency I will convince him that nap time is a good thing. :o)