Saturday, May 31, 2008

Food Additives In The News

ADHD and Additives

a major news source and a medical Allergy Specialist confirm what many have been suspecting for years, ADHD is connected with food additives, and it is worth trying to eliminate food additives from a child's diet before trying medical intervention.

I wonder if perhaps other disorders are connected with all the food additives (chemicals) in the food we eat nowadays.

Baby Challenges

Baby Challenges

I've just got to share that I've had a hard week this week. And, therefore, my poor husband and girls have had a hard week this week as well. They haven't complained though. My baby, now seven months, well, she has always liked to be held a lot. This week, since Tuesday, she doesn't want to be without me for more than five minutes. Additionally, when I hold her she is constantly wriggling away from me trying to grab at something, but not wanting to be put down.

Day before yesterday and today she hasn't taken a nap. Well, today she did end up taking a nap, but not on her own. I ended up laying down with her and nursing her to sleep on my bed. When she was a few months old this worked well. If she fell asleep in the middle of the bed, I could close my bedroom door and know she would be safe. But now, she can roll multiple rolls to get to where she wants to go, and pivot her body to get going in the direction she wants to go. Which, pretty much always is towards me.

Don't get me wrong, part of me loves it. It is complimentary. She loves me. But, I am not exaggerating about the amount of free time I've had during the day here lately. And, while I'm one who tries to give my baby lots of attention, I'm not one whose aim is to pick her up the second she cries. It's just really hard when she cries and cries until I pick her up. And it's really hard when I put her down for nap and I know she is tired, and I know she's been fed, burped, and changed, but a half hour into her nap she is still crying.

Then, I feel for my older kids and feel like I'm totally neglecting my household duties.  Not a lot of quality homeschooling has been done this week and my house is in complete disarray.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sketch Tuesday

Here is my oldest daughter's sketch for Sketch Tuesday's "Something That Swims". I believe this is a sketch of a photo of a Barracuda. Kind of looks scary, huh? Jon (my dh) said it looked modern.



My oldest girl made pancakes yesterday morning. She asked me if she could and I (sort of jokingly) said yes. I thought she'd have more trouble, but she practically did it herself. I mostly helped with turning on the electrical appliances. She did all the measuring, mixing, pouring, and flipping.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Today's Art

Art From Today

My kids are so creative. I am amazed at the ideas they come up with on their own. They have never read a craft book (well pretty much). They have never had an art class (so far). I give them lots of art supplies, so much so that I'm sure my husband must think I am obsessed with creativity or the arts sometimes. It's not that we neglect other areas. We do our math, our reading, our writing, our science, and sometimes even our history (we'll catch up on that). But we have lots of art supplies, we listen to music, and Art Girl plays the violin. They enjoy it. So far, I think it's been a blessing in their lives and mine - even on the days when they make a little too much mess and it inconveniences me.

Here are some pictures of some of what they did today. These projects they did on their own, and they cleaned up when they were done.

Cap Craft For Baby

My oldest girl made up this craft for her baby sister - it's a bonnet or cap.

Bonnet Craft

Art Girl made up this craft for herself - it is her bonnet or cap. I think she looks just sweet.

Paper Plate Craft

My middle girl made up this craft.

Napkin Art

My oldest girl decorated one of our napkins by filling in the raised areas with pen. I think it looks lovely. A great and super easy craft idea to keep kids busy.


Nature Study

Nature Study

We went out on a walk on our street yesterday, Monday, May 19th. We picked a sample of the wild flowers (and some other items) on our street. We still need to try and identify them. I think this is a great bonus of homeschooling - learning in a natural and fun way. We get to play!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mt. St. Helens

May 18, 2008

This Sunday, after going to early service, we headed to Mt. St. Helens. It was the 28th anniversary of the big Eruption of Mt. St. Helens.

We love going to Mt. St. Helens. The drive is so beautiful and the mountain and its history has God's thumbprint written all over it. We most love to go to the Johnston Ridge visitor's center. It is the closest visitor's center to the crater of the mountain and is an absolutely spectacular view. I highly recommend paying the entrance fee and watching the included movie about Mt. St. Helens. I also recommend listening to the guided talk about the mountain. This is always good and was especially good this last weekend.

Here are some pictures:

This is Abigail on the car ride up. She has been playing with her toes a lot lately, even sucking on them! It is so cute! Abigail is so far, my best car ride baby. She likes to be held a lot at home, but she's mostly content in a car. It's nice.

This is a picture of a very long bridge spanning a big valley on the way up to St. Helens. This picture was taken from inside my van as we were driving. It doesn't really capture the impressiveness of the bridge or the highway.


This is a picture of the Toutle Valley on the way up to Mt. St. Helens.

This is a picture of some trees that were knocked over by the blast. You can see they are facing the opposite direction from the mountain.

This is a picture of the mountain with a clear view of the Toutle River flowing away from the mountain.

This is that guided talk. Here is the mountain before the 1980 explosion and after.

This is Jon and Abigail in the foreground, listening to the guided talk.

This is Mariah and Natalie listening to the guided talk.

This is one of the coolest comparisons of the talk because Jon & I have been able to slowly witness this change in the mountain. This is a before the growth of the crater in 2004.

This is the mountain on Sunday, May 18, 2008. You can see how much the bulge in the crater has grown. The size of the growth can, of course, be deceiving because of the distance we are from the crater. During the talk the speaker shared that they bulge grew more than the height of the Empire State Building.


Saturday Company


On Saturday we had company over. We love getting together with this family. They homeschool like us, have a lot of similar values and interests, and they are a bunch of fun. Our girls always look forward to seeing all of their kids. They have five boys! (We have four girls.) Here is a picture of four of them eating with our three oldest girls (one of their boys is hidden in this picture, the youngest is inside).

I'm always having trouble remembering their names, because most of them are named unusual, but wonderful names (and there are five of them). They know our girls names, however. In an attempt to remember their names, I am writing them here. They are Ethan, Colin, Keenan, Quinton, and Jaren.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Good Day & Great Weekend

Good Day

It was a good day today, and an awesome Mother's Day weekend.

I feel so blessed to have been given the opportunity to have children and to homeschool them. To think, I was unsure of my desire to be a homeschooling mom. My children are so wonderful. My children and my husband blessed me in every way this last weekend.

On Saturday, I went to sewing class (by the way I'm almost done with my jacket). My husband took care of the kids and took them out to plan a surprise. Then, Saturday afternoon we went and looked at some Angus Heiffers (cows) and then went and got starts and Cherry Trees from the nursery.

On Sunday, we went to church and I worked in the nursery. Then, my family took me out to a special reserved lunch and then we went and got flowers to plant in hanging baskets. Then, later as we were hanging out at home, my husband said there was one more thing. My dear Natalie had paid attention when I pointed to a Heron Weather Vane on a house that I pointed out after Violin one week. She and her sisters and Dad found it. I am so thrilled. I will have to post a picture of it once it is installed.

Today, we had a good day and a good school day. We started out straightening the house. Natalie did a great job on her Saxon Math, we read a chapter from the original of Winnie The Pooh, she did Phonics and Cursive, practiced violin, and had a fun time playing outside. Rachel, the four year old, and I practiced the sounds of the letters. The girls were great with each other today and didn't get in any arguments. It was just a nice, nice day.

Sketch Tuesday

Here is Natalie's "Sketch Tuesday"  drawing of something red:

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Trying & No Teeth


I have been feeling sick again - along with my four year old and my baby. Today, I feel significantly better. It's been quite a season for colds. Perhaps it's the public gatherings we go to. Perhaps I was run down with nursing and with sleep issues. I have serious issues with sleep, particularly as the days start getting longer. Lately, I've had trouble going back to sleep after the baby wakes me at 5:30 in the morning. Additionally, even though I'm nursing I frequently forget to take my multi-vitamin in the morning., and I can't take a multi-vitamin at night or I'll be wired. Once again, I'm looking forward to warm weather, robust health, and a more reliable schedule. As for my part, I'll try to do better.

No Front Teeth

Today, Natalie cannot say, "Sister Suzi sitting on a thistle."


Our Calf

Our Calf

Here is a new picture of our calf, Annabelle. Annabelle is quite spunky and very friendly.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Always Learning

Always Learning

The girls are always learning even when they are playing. I love it when I can sneak in academic learning into their play. Here they are below playing a simplified version of Yahtzee and practicing addition and carrying.


And here is Rachel, our four year old, practicing her "cursive". Those loops are precursors to real writing you know!

Motherly Training?

And let's not forget training for one of the most important jobs of all - motherly nurturing. Here is Natalie with "baby" in tummy and "three year old" in tote.