Reveling in the glory and beauty of everyday life... all the mess and chaos of raising five little girls!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Just a few pics of my sweet almost two month old.  How we love this peanut! Life isn't always easy these days (sometimes I feel like I am drowning in all the messes and the chaos and I am trying to do it all one handed because my sweet Hope doesn't sleep laying down during the day very well, and there is school, and we have mice in our house, and the kids squabble and did I really make Hamburger Helper for dinner? :)) but we are blessed and there are constant miracles of baby smiles and giggles and coos and precious lisped prayers, and helping hands, and laughter and snuggling and dancing in a downpour in our driveway.Thousands of things to be thankful for.

Jenny Lake

 To celebrate my 32nd birthday last weekend, Erik and I took the kids for a walk at Jenny Lake.  We didn't make it very far - but far enough to enjoy some brilliant fall colors, some water splashing, and a picnic snack on a rocky beach.  It was our first adventure with Hope - the first time we had tucked a diaper into a backpack and ventured out into nature.  She did fantastic - sleeping cozily in the Moby wrap and wiggling on (get this) a tuft of long grass with bear scat nearby. :)  It really was beautiful.  I know we don't get the colors of the East Coast around here, but I love fall in Jackson, and it is at its peak right now - all dappled gold on the hillsides.  Praising God for a beautiful family and a beautiful day!

 Happy and fed in the cleft of a rock - out of the wind.

 Side note: she totally had a blowout.  Everywhere! Like a seasoned mom of four, I was totally unprepared and had packed only a diaper and wipes - no change of clothes.  We improvised a bit, and she is wearing very soiled pants, while her top half is naked underneath the fleece.  Oops.  Seriously. What kind of mom am I? My friend Dancy and I laugh about how carefree we are these days (she has four, too).  The diaper bag is no longer stocked with everything from Tylenol to toothbrushes.  We're lucky if we remember the diapers!

Monday, September 3, 2012

First Grade

It's Labor Day. Erik is working, and the girls and I are trying to prepare for an 18 hour car trip on Wednesday - driving to Washington for my brother's wedding.We are excited to celebrate, but apprehensive about the trip.:)  In the midst of baking and laundry and sorting, I am also trying to prepare a bit for starting our school year the day we return, and I wanted to share a little about our plans!

We are really excited about the curriculum we've chosen for this year.  It definitely stretched our budget a little, but I am thankful to have a year's worth of material at my fingertips, without the stress of weekly library trips or wondering whether a book will even be available!  After much debate, I finally settled on Sonlight as our "core" curriculum.  I have been reading a few books lately on homeschooling, one of which was Educating the Whole-Hearted Child by Sally and Clay Clarkson.  I love this godly couple and their perspective on raising a family. They talk about discipleship and education through living books and real life....  no curriculum needed.  But, I don't think I am up to the task right now.  I need a framework.  I need a plan.  I need help. 

Sonlight's Cores are literature-rich curricula that encompass history, read-alouds, Bible and geography.  We are using Core B - which is an intro to World History.  I am so excited for all the snuggling with good books we get to do!

We are also using Sonlight for science - focusing on animals, astronomy and physics with Science B. Again - real books.  No text.  Weekly experiments with supplies included! Whew! :)

Our language arts is four-fold.

Spelling - All About Spelling Level 2.

Grammar - First Language Lessons

Writing - Writing With Ease

Reading - Here we are using our library.  I am having Elisa read aloud from books I choose (based off a couple of reading lists).  She reads on her own a lot, but reading out loud is so important, too.  Both girls will have silent reading after lunch while the littler ones nap.

Math - We are switching to Horizons for math.  More color and pizzazz than Math-U-See.   Elisa grew to despise math, and I want to generate a little excitement!

Spanish - our pastor's wife has a homeschooled daughter Elisa's age, and she is going to try to organize a Spanish class!  They lived in Mexico for eight years as missionaries. 

PE - swim class and Nordic ski team.

Sadie will continue with My Father's World Kindergarten through most of the year, adding other subjects as she is ready.  She's still pre-K, so we're not pushing it.

We are looking forward to a great year. More to come!