Friday, October 23, 2009

A Little Teacher's Pride

OK, I know it's not right to brag about your own accomplishments, but is it okay to brag on the accomplishments of the people you love?
I am so proud of my one and only student, Evan!
I just want to publicly give a shout out to the student of the month! haha
As a home-educating parent, I have the added pride of not only seeing him bring home good work, but being there when he accomplishes it.
Teaching him is a very rewarding and fulfilling experience for me.
I'm sure that traditional school teachers feel the same way when their students excel.
He is doing such a good job learning his letters, reading and even spelling; numbers, addition, counting, money, time; and Bible lessons and catechisms.
I thought I'd post a little of his work. I think he has excellent handwriting for a boy who just started Kindergarten 6 weeks ago!
(And he'd like his Gramma to see his school work.)
Of course, I've never taught K-garten before, and since he is my only student, I don't have a comparison.
But his Nana, who taught Kindergarten for about a decade says he has some of the best K5 handwriting she has seen.
Go Evan!
Good job, Buddy!
Evan comes by this commendation rightly...he works very meticulously at writing his letters.
I'm proud of the great effort he is giving, doing his best, and excelling!
A+, Evan!
Keep up the excellent work.
Keep on trying your best, keep on loving learning, keep on being you!
Your teacher is very proud of you!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My favorite things about Fall

When I was a kid, Summer was my favorite season, probably because there was no school and I could play outside all the time. We had the best backyard! It was huge, and there were woods beyond that with paths and springs. It was a perfect playarea for a little girl and her imagination. We didn't have a lot of toys growing up. Blankets served as our "wagon train", we made mud pies and dandelion stew, I spent hours playing house, school, church, and store (I loved that old Service Merchandise catalog!). I used to read alot. Our church and school were just up the road, and I used to take my "Get Along Gang" rollerskates up to the gym and roll around and around, playing out some imaginary scene in my head. I used to make blueprints of what my home was going to look like when I was a grown woman. For several years we didn't even own a tv when I was young. My imagination was really my best toy. My husband can attest to the fact that I have a very active imagination! :-) He can thank my parents for that!

As I got older and the heat and humidity of NY summers started to annoy me, I found myself loving Spring. The fresh air, the flowers blooming, trees growing new leaves, green grass. Maybe that's because the NY winters (my least fav season) are so hard. Spring in NY is like a breath of fresh air, figuritively and literally. I mean I can really do without anywhere from 4-6 months of snow, freezing temperatures, yellow snow, slush, black ice, having to shovel feet of snow just to shovel through feet of snow just to get to your vehicle, climbing into said vehicle and driving for 10 mintues before it warms up and you thaw. I love having fresh white snow on Christmas, but honestly, I could do without anymore! It was great when I was a kid. That great back yard was like a valley. There were great spots to slide down from behind the house. I didn't mind the cold so much then. We'd come in and warm ourselves and thaw out our mittens on the wood stove. That all doesn't appeal to me so much now. Anyway, when Spring does finally arrive, it's like everything around you finally starts to live again. The tiring dark dreariness of constant winter weather is gone, and the blueness of the sky, and the vivid colors of Spring, just make you feel energized.

Just in the last few years, I've found that, though I love Spring still, I am beginning to really favor Fall. (except for the reminder that winter is soon coming!) There are so many good things about Fall...the crisp cool air, the brightly colored leaves, the soup recipes that get pulled out of hiding, the fun activities to do with the kids......the sights, the smells, the food, the beauty of Fall.
(The song from Sound of Music cues) "These are a few of my favorite things...."

apples from the orchard taking a bath

mmmmmm.....warm cider donuts

first batch of homemade applesauce

little boys enjoying fresh from the pot applesauce

helpers with muscles

more helpers

"Look, Mom, I'm doing it too!"

scarecrows and corncobs

4 little pumpkins just like my little punkins

riding out in the country and enjoying the view

this big oval pot of mums gracing my front steps (best part is they were a great bargain!)

31 quarts of homemade applesauce in my freezer!

Homemade French Apple Pie,
my husband's fav
MMMMMMMM...this one was the best pie I've made.
Came out a little browner than it usually does (getting used to my "new" oven),
but boy did it taste good warm with whipped topping!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Super Nana to the Rescue

Ok, this picture has nothing to do with the post, but I think it's sweet....This stuffed cat was made by my Grandma, and it sat faithfully on her bed in the nursing home where she lived until she went into the hospital and passed away nearly 2 years ago. My Mom kept it, and Owen has attached himself to it. He loves this much so that my mom has already had to repair her. Grandma would be proud!

My mom is a life-saver. Seriously, she saves lives...every day! She's Super Nana! Well, okay, she is more of a time and sanity saver, but that's just as good, right? My mom has graciously and eagerly agreed to take care of my 3 younger boys while I teach Evan his 3 Rs in the morning. At 9 am, I do Bible class with all 4 boys...that can sometimes be a circus....good thing God is so patient! I'm glad I have them all involved. Carter and Derek can say the pledge to the Bible and the American flag, are memorizing verses, have learned the days of creation, are singing new Bible songs, and they can answer catechisms that are on a Kindergarten level...such as:

Who made you? God made me.
What else did God make? God made all things.
Why did God make you and all things? God made me and all things for His own glory.
Who made God? Nobody made God.
Was God born? No, God has always been.
Will God ever die? No, God lives forever.

Let me tell you, 3 year olds can learn alot more than we give them credit for. The trick is getting them to focus long enough to catch it! Our 2 year old, Owen, is even able to say parts of the verses and the pledges. He is slowly, pain-stakingly slowly, going to learn to sit still for more than 10 seconds at a time. So, though there are moments (every morning) when I wonder why I am doing this class with all of them (have I gone mad?), I am glad I decided's profitable for all of them, and it's being profitable for me, too. (though I must confess a sigh of relief comes over my whole body when 9:30 arrives!...imposing structure on toddlers is exhausting.)
Anywho, back to Super Nana....
Mom comes over after Bible class, and we put the boys shoes on, and she takes them over to her house for what she affectionately refers to as Nana's Preschool.
Super Nana isn't content to just babysit the boys;
She isn't willing to just put them in front of her high definition flat panel lcd tv (that my boys LOVE) all morning;
Super Nana isn't even happy to just watch them play.
No, not Super Nana!
Super Nana does Pre-school and Potty Training for 2 hours every morning!
Though she does incorporate some educational tv programs and playtime, she is determined to teach them things.
Like with Blue Day, Red Day, Green Day, Silly Hat Day, Silly Tie Day, etc.
They sing songs, read books, scavenger hunt, learn colors, learn values (like today...."Bee" Kind), make things (like today...kazoos out of t.p. rolls).
She's found that their attention span, even when they're enjoying something, can be short lived. But, bless her heart, she's trying anyway!
Here are some pictures of the boys enjoying Nana's Preschool:

Carter on Silly Hat Day

Owen wearing Papa's moose hat for Silly Hat Day
(some might wonder why a 6o some year old man owns a moose hat....I know I do!)

Papa joinging in the fun....some days they get to enjoy some time with Papa too, depending on his work schedule. He fits in well! :-)

Carter Owen and Derek on Silly Tie Day
...apparently Carter thought Nana said Silly Guy Day

Today, they searched Nana's house for 6 bees, and then had a lesson on "Be Kind"
Carter & Derek

And they made kazoos out of toilet paper rolls.
Best part is that Nana sent them home with them.
I know you can't tell on a blog, but that last sentence was laced with sarcasm!

And this is another of Owen's favorite playmates at Nana's preschool.
He calls him "Poop Bear". Precious, huh?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Silly Is As Silly Does

Mom, Look what I can do!

Silly is as Silly does....'nough said!

Monday, October 5, 2009

You're Growing!

Saturday evening, Ben and I were getting ready to go on a date. Sunday was his birthday, so I asked my Mom to come over and babysit the boys so we could go out to supper and enjoy a little alone time Saturday night. I had just put on my jeans, and I was mentioning that , uggggh!, they must have shrunk in the dryer, because they felt tight.
Evan very sincerely said, "Mom, your jeans didn't're growing!"'s a good thing I love that boy so much!