Sunday, May 31, 2009

My Week

Faith

I feel challenged this week for some reason with the state of affairs in our nation and therefore in our economy. Some weeks, I feel full of faith and see things from more of an eternal perspective. At other times I feel challenged moving ahead.

Our Farm

We planted our garden last weekend. The automatic watering has been going every other day and we look forward to seeing starts. Jon moved both sets of cows this week to new pastures. He also spent a day picking up hay and reorganizing the barn.

At Home And About

The girls signed up for a new soccer program and they really seem to like it. It is very structured and they keep them busy. Also, they tell them when they aren't paying attention, also when they need to move faster. This is Rachel's first time in a soccer program, but she's been wanting to do one for a long time. Natalie really loves soccer, but hasn't been doing that great on her team. I think her team just sort of wrote her off because she tends to space out. In this program they don't LET her do that. And she loves it.

We went to dance on Tuesday. I was pleased to hear that they are planning on keeping the studio open next year. It is a Christian studio that teaches Classical ballet and my girls just love it, so I am very pleased. The director of the studio is moving away, so we were concerned about the future of the program.

We also went to violin this week, which Natalie goes to every other week.

natalie_violin

We went to see one of the waterfall near our house this week and were able to see the salmon jumping up the falls.

salmon

I started out the week with the house being behind because of the all the gardening and outdoors activities from the long weekend and I just kept falling behind all week. But, last night and this morning, I and the girls put the house in order. They kept asking if they could play and I kept telling them that the house wasn't all the way clean yet. I think sometimes I end up doing everything because I feel guilty about asking them to help much. I'm not sure why.

In The Schoolroom

I can't really remember much about school, other than to say we continued with what we have been doing. The Burgess Bird Book, Parables Of Nature, Discovery Of New Worlds, Free Reading, Copywork, Saxon Math, God's Design For Plants. Rachel worked on Abeka worksheets and read some.

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Our Business

I didn't make it into work during the week this week. But, Jon and the girls and I headed there for a bit today. I didn't get actual tasks done, so that is hard for me. I am trying to learn more Photoshop and move ahead with some marketing things I haven't done before and new things are hard to wrap my brain around sometimes, especially when all the girls are with me.

IMG_7700

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Garden Pictures

Here are a couple of garden pictures. I really should get more pictures of my kids in the garden - we spend so much time there. But, you know, dirt and cameras don't go well together. I'll have to make a special effort anyhow.

flower_girl

flowers_up_close

moseying_in_the_garden

lilttle_gardener

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Pool Party

On Saturday, we went on a long trip to an extended family member's pool party. It involved a long trip, but the girls had so much fun, it was worth all the hours in the car.

Here are some pics from the day:

 

car_baby

The baby slept on the way there.

car_rach

 

Rachel was upset about something and didn't want her picture taken. The girls were trying to get her to turn around.

car_nat

Natalie has great freckles doesn't she?

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Mariah (yawning) and Rachel

little_swimmer

Our littlest swimmer all safe in her life jacket. I was still on my toes though!

little_swimmer_2

Here is Abigail again.

swimming_5

Nat

swimming_3

Rachey

swimming_1x

Riah

little_swimmer_3

I went in with Abigail too, but Abigail really had fun with Jon.

jon_baby_swimming

I'm sure she liked being a part of a water fight too.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Our Week

Our Week May 17-May 23, 2009

Faith

I've had one of those really great weeks. God really does work everything for the good of those who love Him. You can always just look back. I mean I've had really bad times in my life don't get me wrong, but honestly for the most part during those times my heart was really turned away from God. And, Job, oh man, he had difficult times, but God restored him. And, ultimately, I needn't fear he who can harm the body, but should fear him who can harm the soul. My point is that times are hard; things are hard financially out ther, and man there are people out there that are DOWNRIGHT despicable towards Christians and towards God. But still God's hand is always there for us; providing, healing, sustaining.

Our Farm

I've been weeding like crazy and planting some. I ended up having to replant my second batch of starts, they never came in. Something went wrong. We will mostly likely try to get the garden in over the weekend. But, I've been tending the flower beds mostly. I planted a couple of tomatoes in my greenhouse in hopes of some earlier tomatoes and they are growing alright. I need to get more compost mixed in on the soil - or I'll have to resort to chemical fertilizer.

Below are some pictures of our some flowers and my greenhouse - so you can see the status. The first two pictures are of a couple of Rhodedendron bushes in front of our home. I used to hate Rhodies. They can look so overgrown and when the flowers dies - just horrible. But, I no longer dislike them. One thing I've noticed is that in nature, they most often grown in the shade and don't get so overgrown - look just beautiful as they offer just a spot of shade color. But, the second thing I've learned is that you can really shape Rhody bushes. A couple of years of diligent pruning and you've got a wonderful shape. These two bushes are actually a bit marred as a Feral cat took to scratching them a while back and well they have a bunch of weeds and our manufactured home in the background.

rhody_2

rhody_1

shade_garden

blue_perennial

greenhouse

our_farm

Our Home & Health

I have been well this week. My husband is now sick. I kept up OK on the house. I made dinner four out of five days - did take out the other day. Not too bad. I didn't get back out my sourdough yet from the fridge. I hope it is still OK. I think I'll get it out on Sunday if it is OK and get going on that again.

In The Schoolroom

Well, we had a great week in the schoolroom. My Charlotte Mason reading is really starting to help me. Check out my summary on the latest chapter from Charlotte Mason on moral habits. It has really helped me in keeping the homeschooling rolling along. We've been breaking things into 30 minute chunks of time and if they get done early and in an excellent manner, then the kids get a little free time to do just what they choose. It's amazing what they'll do for 10 minutes of free time every half hour.

I did have a bit of a break from school this week. I went into our business and Jon did the homeschooling TWO DAYS this week. Way to go, honey! The cool thing is that because I was feeling better and because I feel like I'm getting a handle on this Charlotte Mason stuff, I was able to type out a lesson plan for Jon that he could easily follow.

Rachel is doing Abeka writing and phonics and math. I don't really do Abeka, but for phonics and writing I think they are excellent. And I start Saxon math in 1st grade and their Kindergarten math was just right - getting into adding and subtracting, counting by 2's, 5's, 10's, and coins. Just perfect for Rachel. At Jon's suggestion, we started giving Rachel stickers when she finishes schoolwork - and she likes that. Rachel also reads Bob books to me.

Natalie finished the Human Body book in Science. We are back in the Plants book which we previously skipped part of as we didn't have access to plants that time of year. Nat does copywork, Saxon Math (we just moved into 3), reading and narration, art, violin. In reading we/she have/has been reading the Bible, Parables Of Nature, the Burgess Bird Book, Trial and Triumph, and the Discovery Of New Worlds. She likes them all except maybe Trial and Triumph - but I think that one is a good stretch for her and I am certainly learning new bits of history.

We also went to dance this week. The girls are signed up for soccer for the summer and are excited about that. I'm skipping swimming this summer as it just seems too expensive for how much of an impact it is making. At the suggestion of a fellow homeschooling mom, I've gotten the girls life jackets and plan on spending lots of time at outdoor parks and lakes this summer. Perhaps next year we will take the discounted homeschooling swim lessons offered during the year. I'm homeschooling through the end of June. Our schools here actually go through the third week of June, plus I missed a few weeks when I hurt my arm earlier this year.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Charlotte Mason - Moral Habits

I have been getting so much out of my Charlotte Mason reading. It is challenging reading since it is written in 1925 and since it has so many deep concepts in it. But, they are the kinds of concepts that I NEED so I can decide how to teach my children, and more importantly so I can gain assistance in how to raise them in a Godly and an well-rounded manner. I would highly recommend to any mother out there (including non-homeschoolers who want to play an active role in raising and educating their children) to read the original Charlotte Mason homeschooling series - starting with Home Education. A Charlotte Mason education is, surprisingly, to me, not so much an educational means centered around reading Twaddle Free books (although Charlotte does teach that), but is a bigger picture lesson of HOW to motivate children in their learning and character.

This chapter in Home Education is no less inspiring that any of the previous chapters I have read. Here are some highlights from the chapter:

Charlotte Mason Homeschooling Series - Home Education

Chapter 4 - Some Habits Of Mind - Some Moral Habits

Charlotte starts the chapter by re-iterating that not letting a habit slip is paramount in training our children. Yet, realizing that this task can seem daunting, she encourages us by reminding us that we mothers only need to keep a close eye on one habit at a time and to keep a general watch over habits already found.

With a child with some repetitive behaviors and lack of understanding of other's point of view, I find the one habit at a time concept to be harder than Charlotte writes, at least with her. Yet, whether I can take a more relaxed position with that child or not, it is still glaringly important that I not let habits slip with this child, or it only becomes harder for me. Perhaps you have a child with ADD or a developmental disorder, it might be harder because some habits are so ingrained in them, but don't tune out, these subjects are important to you as well.

Charlotte tells us that if we just choose 10 to 20 habits which we will fully work with our children on during their childhood - and if we take them one at a time and don't let them slip, that our children will be the better for it in their lives.

Charlotte also encourages us moms by mentioning that habit forming, if we stick with it, will actually become a habit for ourselves. That's right, if we stick with habit training with our children, it will become EASY because we will have formed a HABIT! Yeah. And, as she said in the last chapter, many a mom thinks she is going easy on her child (or herself) by letting up on a habit. Then the habit is no longer a habit and becomes hard work again. What an important subject which in the long run will make our lives easier.

The Valuable Habit - The Habit Of Attention

Our minds are never idle and are always busy thinking. Those thoughts, however, left to themselves, simple follow the law of association and flit from topic to topic. The habit of attention must be cultivated (doesn't come naturally) and be started to be trained as early and infancy by showing a child an object (such as a daisy) and having them turn their attention to it longer than they otherwise would. As we move on to school age children, Charlotte prods us to not let your child dawdle (space out) over their work (whether it be math, copywork, reading). When it has come to that, you know it is time to put that lesson away and turn to another lesson as much the opposite the first lesson as possible. Charlotte talks about this subject a lot. Keep lessons short. If a lesson isn't working, turn to another topic (reading after math for instance) so that the lessons are kept fresh. When planning your lessons - plan for alteration of types of lessons - ones that are brain heavy and ones that aren't. For instance - Math - Music - Copywork - Art - Reading - Science - Life Skills.

Teachers (us moms in the case of homeschooling moms) should be qualified enough to know how to change lessons enough to keep the child's attention and to bring various parts of the brain to work so the child is rested. This can be a challenge, I think, especially when we are new to a Charlotte Mason education, and haven't thoroughly thought these things through.

Charlotte teaches us that each lesson for the child eight and under should be twenty minutes or less. And, we should build natural incentives into the child's work so that if the child gets her lesson done well and early, that he should have free time for having done so.

I have found this idea revolutionary and have just now began implementing it. I find a half hour time period easier to remember - and if they get their lesson done early - the children can do what they want. Today, at least, this was motivation better than any treat.

Charlotte points out that as our children get older, we want them to be self-motivated to stay focused. Teach your child the value of sustaining their attention and how it will actually make their life easier as they will learn faster and get things done more quickly - freeing up time for leisure. Charlotte points out that (and I love this quote): "But truly, one of the most fertile causes of an overdone brain is a failure in the habit of attention. I suppose we are all ready to admit that it is not the things we do, but the things we fail to do, which fatigue us, with the sense of omission, with the worry of hurry in overtaking our tasks.

The Habit Of Application (Working Quickly)

Charlotte points out that even a child who naturally plods through their work can be trained to work more rapidly. Your little tortoise can be trained to move a little quicker every day. One thing necessary to encourage this is the aspect of something interesting ahead (the time out, the continuation of an interesting story, the right amount of length of a given lesson to not tire the child).

The Habit Of Thinking

What Charlotte means by thinking here isn't that loose association of ideas - for we all do that. True thinking is the noticing of the details, the understanding of cause and effect, the thinking ahead what will happen next or what is happening over there. We need to be cognisant of our need to help our children connect the dots. Teach them to think about things - encourage them to share their thoughts with you.

The Habit Of Imagining

Charlotte goes into the Twaddle concept here. She suggests that books be deep and leave a lot of room for the imagination. She says the book should include lives and cultrures and situations different from their own - but nonetheless real, not silly. Here she gives the example of Alice In Wonderland as a silly book and Swiss Family Robinson as a good book. She admits that there is some room for comedic and silly books (Bearnstein Bears comes to mind right now), but that they shouldn't be the mainstay of the child's reading menu.

The Habit Of Remembering

One point Charlotte makes here is that ideas need to be connected. Connect one lesson with a previous lesson. Another point she makes is that knowledge learned and never used is lost. We should continue to use our knowledge and exercise our brain so that we remember what we were once taught.

The Habit Of Perfect Execution

To me the habit of perfect execution goes hand in hand with the habit of application (working quickly). What good does it do us if our children can work quickly, but get their spelling wrong, have messy hand-writing, don't come to thoughtful conclusions, and get their math sums wrong?? We must emphasize and require both things. Part of this is our expectation and our not letting this habit slip as a mom, and then the other part of this is adjusting the curriculum (the lesson) in order to make it interesting and just the right size. In the long run, when we have taught them to give proper attention to everything they do, then our children will be able to do more, for longer, and with greater perfection than they would otherwise.

The Habit Of Obedience

Charlotte mentions how this is the essential habit. For we obey our earthly parents as we will obey our Heavenly Father. It is the "whole duty of the child". She mentions that those with overly harsh discipline miss true obedience and that consistent moral training "for it is right" is the way to train our children in obedience. As a natural reward, the children who are obedient are given a lot of liberty - a lot of freedom - for they can handle that.

The Habit Of Truthfulness

Charlotte states that lying can be caused by three situations (all serious):

  1. carelessness in ascertaining the truth
  2. carelessness in stating the truth
  3. deliberate intention to deceive

You can tell that all forms of lying are serious when you consider that a man's reputation and status in society can be permanently harmed by any of these.

In order to secure that your child learns this good moral lesson, train your child to give completely accurate statements. Teach her not to change a story to his own advantage, avoid facts, and stall. She can be humerous, but without embellishing facts.

A Habit Of Temperament

Charlotte reminds us about a few other areas for habit training. She tells us that temperament isn't born into a child, but is only a tendency, and can be trained in or out of them.

Do You Have Something To Share?

If you have applied any of these Charlotte Mason concepts in your homeschool and want to share about them, then please feel free to make a link to your post below with Mr. Linky. I'd love to hear about it.

I am reading through the Charlotte Mason Home Schooling Series each week, and am sharing on line for my own learning and in order to keep myself on task. I am posting something most Mondays. The next chapter is: "Lessons As Instruments Of Education". To read about other previous chapters, go to my Charlotte Mason category.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Our Week

Our Week May 10-May 16, 2009

Home & School

There was just not much to tell from this week which was different from last week in our life, except for the beautiful weather this weekend. It was gorgeous, blue skies and warm, but not too hot, and we spent time gardening. During this last week, I have still been fighting a cold, which went down in my chest. Yet, by the end of the week, it moved away from my chest, so that was good. We went ahead with reading, copywork, math, science. We spent some time outdoors. I didn't get in much Bible reading, but I was encouraged by some of the reading about people of faith that I did with Natalie. In particular we read about Francis of Assisi today. What a powerful prayer he wrote.

Natalie (as well as Mariah from her school) was very interested in Pilgrim's Progress this week. We have a condensed version and she has been asking to read it to me. Mariah has been learning about Pilgrim's Progress at her school too and is a great story teller and was busy telling the other girls the story this weekend.

Rachey has really been moving along in her reading and her phonics. Even in make pretend play, she voluntarily wrote out her alphabet with chalk and only got one letter backwards.

We went to dance this week, as well as violin.

Our Farm

My first tray of starts keeps growing. My second and third trays haven't popped up except for that which I lost. I need to get fertilizer on my tomatoes. It is supposed to be sunny coming up and I hope to do lots of weeding this weekend.

Our calf, Little Ann, continues to do well and she and the male black calf let me pet them. The laying hens continue to grow, but not at the same rate as those Cornish Cross. Those things are crazy. They are little chicks and they are FAT! Chicks really have to be grain fed at the beginning, but we haven't medicated them and plan on pasture feeding them before they are made into meat.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Some fun pictures for you

fun_image

nat_fun_image

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Turtles?

Here is another picture for you. We saw these turtles (I think they are turtles - the difference between a turtle and a tortoise still mystifies me - and I just did a google search)...well, we saw them when we went to the bird sanctuary on Saturday. My sweet husband took me there when I was feeling sad about being sick. Really, he said, "do you want to go to a park or something?" And, I said, "yes, how about the bird sanctuary?" I know I'm supposed to stay home when I'm sick - but all the people at the bird sanctuary were in their own cars - so it was good. I hadn't been before and now I'm not afraid to try to find it. When I'm feeling all the way better, I think I'll spend a whole day there with my girls. I don't have a zoom lens right now - so hopefully I will replace or fix my zoom lens before then too.

turtles_640

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Week

My Weekly Wrapup May 3-May 9, 2009

Faith

I'm just desiring to get well and wanting to get into my Bible reading and have daily prayer and worship with the girls. I feel pretty weak right now, but you know...when I'm weak He is strong. :)

Our Farm

I planted some tomatoes in my greenhouse this week and I've been researching planting strategies for all the vegies. I lost my melon starts on Saturday when it got quite warm and we left for the morning and early afternoon and I forgot to uncover those starts.

Our little calf is doing great and all the calves are cute as can be. We have a bull here too. His owner said he is real mellow, but he's medium on the scale to us. He looks at us nervously when we go in the field with him and circles his girls, but leaves us alone and doesn't signal us in any agressive way. Still, the Pinzgauer bull we had was as mellow as a pet. I like that mellow trait of the Pinzgauers. This bull is a Black Angus.

Our Home & Health

Well, I originally thought this cold I had was a mild cold. But, it's a doozy. It's pretty much affected me in all the common ways - sore throat, sneezing, coughing, tired, etc. Anytime a cold goes in my chest, it's a big deal to me since I've got asthma. I just want to be well and this thing is dragging on.

The kids still seem a little run down, but are a lot better this week.

In The Schoolroom

Ah, well, Rachey is moving ahead reading and understanding reading rules and math concepts. Natalie just finished Saxon Math 2 and I'm thinking of starting Saxon Math 3 or starting some kind of hands-on math. She's been continuing with science. We've been studying birds and plants and she's been reading her Human Body textbook - learning about skin most recently. She's been re-reading the Trumpeter Swan book this week. Also, we finished Carry On, Mr. Bowditch. We've had a chapter left to read on that for some time now. We've read Trial and Triumph, the Education of Patience Goodspeed, and Fifty Famous Stories Retold. She's continued her copywork from the Bible and from the Handbook Of Nature Study. I feel like I'm treading water with school right now. But, there will be better days ahead I know.

Here is a cute picture of my littlest cutie for you:

abigail_color

Friday, May 8, 2009

Your Own Book

Isn't this cool? You can make your own book. Whether it be a photography book, a book of poetry, a cookbook, whatever. You can make your own real professional book. How cool is that? What a great present would that make to grandparents? How much better is that than scrapbooking?

BLURB.COM

Monday, May 4, 2009

Charlotte Mason - Habit Is Worth Ten Natures

Habit Is Worth Ten Natures

The chapter "Habit Is Ten Natures" could really be retitled "Good Habits Are Worth Ten Times More Than Good Genetics".

OK, that would be a bit long. Really, though, this phrase persists around much Charlotte Mason literature and has always confused me. And, this chapter follows Charlotte's chapter on Nature Study. So, coming into the chapter, I thought maybe Charlotte was saying that habit was worth ten nature studies. But, that isn't what she is saying at all.

In fact, Charlotte reminds us at the beginning of this chapter on habits, that she placed the other chapter on Nature Study, before this chapter because, "the child - his business in the world during the first six or seven years of his life - is to find out all he can, about whatever comes under his notice, by means of his five senses;" and "put him in the way of making acquaintance freely with Nature and natural objects;" .

Charlotte first came to be interested in habits because she was frustrated in her work as a teacher. She found it hard to make an impact on a child who had bad habits. And she found that either children basically had good habits based on the care they had been raised with, or they didn't. The true impact was left with the parents.

Charlotte tells us that the child must not be left up to his own self. She says, "it is unchangeably true that the child who is not being constantly raised to a higher and a higher platform will sink to a lower and a lower." She compels us that our human nature in not invincible, that with gentle training it can be tamed, much as a horse being gently worked with froma young age, with bit, bridge, hand, and voice.

Habit grows stronger with exercise. Yet, if habit is to be used to lift a child, it must work contrary to our human nature. Sometimes mothers even raise their children up inadvertently with good habits - there are certain priniciples those mothers will not, under any circumstances, allow their children to neglect.

Charlotte argues that not only our outward actions are habits, but that "We think, as we are accustomed to think;". The child that has been trained to find reward and fun in their learning and reading - won't tend to be led astray by idleness. Just as our body becomes accustomed to use and un-use - so our brains become accustomed to being used or not, or being used in a certain way. Thoughts tend to follow a rut – our brain pathways have a way of least resistance.

Charlotte says that "the actual conformation of the child's brain depends upon the habits which the parents permit or encourage; and that the habits of the child produce the character of the man, because certain mental habitudes once set up, their nature is to go on for ever unless they should be displaced by other habits." "It is necessary that the mother be always on alert to nip in the bud the bad habit her children may be in the act of picking up."

Around our house, we deal a lot with doing things in a slow manner or a distracted manner, something Charlotte called dawdling. Charlotte said this was a habit of indecision, that the child and/or the parent needing to learn the habit of doing the next thing.

Charlotte then goes on the point out one of the biggest pitfalls in habit training - letting a habit slip. We often let habits slip because we feel sorry for the effort our children are making and feel they should have a break. Yet, as the child is making progress on the habit, it is becoming easier for him. This is the crucial time not to let the habit slip. Charlotte points our that we should be encouraged because habits actually become a source of pride and joy and make life easier in the end.

In order that we can train our children in habits we must train ourselves in the areas of "tact, watchfulness, and persistence".

Charlotte says that good habits begin in infancy - from a healthy schedule, to cleanliness, to neatness, to decency and modesty, to taking care and pride in possessions. She says a child of two can be taught to get out and put away her playthings in their place. She encourages moms to teach their children to not just put things away, but to put them away with taste. Have the kids arrange their playthings. Have your girls make flower arrangements. Have reproductions of classic pieces of art in their rooms. Have the children exercise each day. Drill them in good manners. Teach them proper pronunciation of their vowels and of their words. Have them listen to music and learn to sing and read music.

As I read Charlotte Mason, there is always a lot to think about when it comes to teaching and training my children. Yet, as she said earlier in the chapter, I must not let myself be caught up in indecision, but must demonstrate choosing the next thing to conquer in our lives.

If you are following Charlotte Mason's principles in your homeschool and this chapter applies to you in some way and want to make a link to your blog post, please do so below. Of course, you are always welcome to leave a comment as well.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

My Week

My Week April 26-May 2, 2009

Faith

Oh, boy, it's been one of those weeks. Of course I prayed for my kids and husband and a few other prayers. But, my Bible reading and prayer time could really have used some improvement.

Our Farm

Well, it was a farm week. We had a calf born and she didn't look too great. She was weak to begin with, then when she tried to nurse her Mom kicked her because she was engorged and a first time Mom. We bottle fed her and tubed her some Colostrum. And, we tubed her an electrolyte water mixture, and we headgated the Mom to get the baby nursing well on the Mom. All, seems well now, although the first three weeks with any calf is the critical time. So, we'll continue to keep an eye on her. That took one full day's work, plus a few hours on another couple of days. The kids did enjoy seeing the calf born though and I think even the process of rescuing her was valuable to the kids.

We also got some new yellow chicks. They are meat chickens. We moved the older egg laying chicks outside to a small coop with a heat lamp in it. They will graduate to the big coop when they start laying.

baby_chicks

big_chick_coop

I'm watering and watching my starts in the greenhouse. I need to get out and get some more potting soil to plant anything else. I'm thinking of buying a few starts too because of the late start I got at it. I think it would be cool to grow some tomatoes and melons in the greenhouse. Any other suggestions? What does better with lots of heat?

Our Home & Health

I made a loaf of sourdough this week, although the starter wasn't really ready. It wasn't rising enough yet even though it is a week old now. So, I want to keep going on that.

I cleaned and organized my fridge this week! Woohoo. We'll see how long it stays clean. Anyone else just hate doing that?

The girls got a cold earlier in the week and now Jon and I have it. It's real mild though. And, yeah, no one else to pass it on to! :) I hope that swine flu ends up being nothing.

Aaaagh! Natalie is having a bout with CVS (cycilical vomiting syndrome - stomach migraines) this weekend. Despite taking the REALLY strong medicine - she's still been unable to keep anything down. I've been trying to cut out sources of MSG (and there are a lot of hidden sources) out of her diet to try and prevent these since MSG is a common trigger for migraines. But, apparently, either that wasn't the trigger or I missed something.

In The Schoolroom

I felt like we did well this week. We were perhaps a little short on our reading with all the farm events that happened. But...every day Nat did math, science (she LOVES science), copywork, violin, and read some. We're continuing Fifty Famous Stories Retold, finishing up Mr. Bowditch, and reading Trial & Triumph. Nat does her copywork from the Bible and from the Nature Study Book.

Rachel has been continuing to read to me and to do her math. She's coming along.

Our Business

Jon & I went in together on Friday evening. I did a few tasks that only I could do. But, mostly I worked on trying to clean my digital sensor in my "fancy" camera, because the way it stands right now with most pictures I take over f8 (so if you want most or everything in the picture to be in focus), I get little dots on my pictures. Which is just lovely. I didn't get them off. But the guide that I have for doing this says that sometimes if I try again in a few days, I can get them off. Otherwise, it's off the manufacturer to get it fixed (which is like 3 weeks without my prized possession).

Jon & I really need to get in there more like we used to. We used to work like crazy people - to all hours, talked about work all the time, brought our kids in there. Well, that was a tough time for us, so, we don't need to be so intense. But, in order to provide for ourselves a little security, we really should get in there SOME MORE. Dave Ramsey is always saying, you either cut your expenses or increase your income or both. 

I just love being at home with my kiddos though...especially as I've been homeschooling and blogging and doing all these kinds of home projects. When I only had two kids and they were both little, I felt so isolated when Jon was at work or off doing something. I wanted him to call me on the phone every day. Not now, I'm busy. I always have time for him, but I don't NEED that distraction so much.